Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has said he will make another bid for the presidency in the 2017 General Election.
But Raila, speaking during a morning talk show at a vernacular radio station yesterday, said his candidature would be subject to consultations within the CORD family.
“In all my presidential bids, it is known that I have only been defeated once during the 1997 General Election. I must remain to tell Kenyans that the person who wins the contest becomes the President,” Raila declared yesterday.
He added: “Nothing can stop me from vying for President in future elections. If Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) clears me to vie in 2017, then I will be in the ballot.”
This is the first time Raila has publicly declared his intention to launch a fourth stab at the top office, a move intended to dispel fear among his supporters that he is likely to back another candidate.
Previously, the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) principal has been non-committal on his future s after losing the 2013 contest to President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Recent developments have signalled Raila’s intention to be on the presidential ballot in the next elections, including initiating leadership change in his ODM party and quelling fallouts in his strongholds.
However, other CORD principals have also declared their quest to be the country’s next Head of State.
“We will consult as CORD because there are others who have the same interest. If they give me the go ahead, then I will be in the race,” Raila stated.
As part of the preparations to clinch Presidency in the next elections, Raila said his Orange party would conduct early primaries to contain discontent without spilling over to the poll period.
“We plan to conduct our nominations one year to the election time so that those who are not satisfied with the outcome and wish to leave can do so. This will help to curb election violence and rigging,” he said.
Raila said there were projects he launched when he was Prime Minister in the defunct Grand Coalition Government that stalled but exuded confidence that capturing the presidency in 2017 would enable him complete them.
“Infrastructure was my main agenda. I wanted to enhance equalisation of development in all parts of the country and that is why we fought for devolution. So far, there is still huge disparity in terms of growth,” he said.