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Ruto to ‘skip’ running mates’ debate – source

Deputy President William Ruto plans to skip the upcoming running mates’ debate slated for Monday July 17 following in the footsteps of his boss, Nairobi News understands.

A source close to the DP cited reasons similar to those given by President Uhuru Kenyatta for skipping the presidential debate.

Debates Media Limited, the organizer of the debate, was forced to postpone the presidential debate from July 10 to 27 after President Kenyatta and National Super Alliance flag bearer Raila Odinga said they would not attend.

Both cited issues to do with organization.

“The letter inviting the DP to the debate came to the office yesterday. The organizers of the debate have run the event with little consultation despite the same issues being raised by candidates in 2013,” said the source.

ENGAGEMENT

“There was compromise in 2013 because it was a new idea but serious issues were raised but it seems they were ignored as 2017 was being organized.”

DP’s handlers say they hope the issues raised will be disclosed and a better engagement model running over four years will be developed so future debates are not affected.

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“No one consulted on dates, it was picked without reference to the campaign schedule. In debates, funding should be disclosed and agreed on by all, that is standard practice across the world,” added the source.

“The problem with the 2017 debate framework is that globally accepted standards were sacrificed. The key principle is that it is Presidential debate not a Media debate or studio interview, there must be input from Presidential candidates every step of the way.”