HomePoliticsWhy There is Pressure on Ruto and Raila to Accept Handshake

Why There is Pressure on Ruto and Raila to Accept Handshake

President William Ruto and Raila Odinga, the leader of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party, are facing pressure to negotiate and establish a government of national unity to ensure political stability.

A ‘Handshake’ truce, similar to the one reached in 2018 between Mr Odinga and former President Uhuru Kenyatta, is being urged. Behind-the-scenes talks, led by US Senator Chris Coons, and the Catholic clergy who met with Mr Odinga, have proposed either the creation of an official opposition leader office or the establishment of a government of national unity.

Dr Ruto has openly advocated for the creation of an official opposition leader office through parliament, which has been rejected by Mr Odinga.

Meanwhile, Martha Karua, Mr Odinga’s running mate in the last election, has insisted on the opening of 2022 presidential election servers for a forensic audit, and if the results contradict the electoral agency’s declaration, President Ruto should surrender his seat.

Although Mr Odinga has said that he is not interested in a coalition government, insiders in his camp suggest that failure to gain access would lead to pushing for a stake in the government.

But Azimio Secretary-General Junet Mohamed argues that they have no interest in joining a ‘sick government.’

A stalemate could result in a government of national unity to accommodate opposition politicians for the sake of peace in the country.

Both the President and Mr Odinga have denounced any talks that could lead to a Handshake, and their hardline position aims to avoid internal conflict within their camps.

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