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Kenya’s presidential poll: Ruto, Odinga forerunners

 Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto and the opposition leader, Raila Odinga, are the two forerunners for the August 9 presidential election in the country.  Ruto…

 Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto and the opposition leader, Raila Odinga, are the two forerunners for the August 9 presidential election in the country. 

Ruto is contesting under the platform of the United Democratic Party; and Odinga, the Orange Democratic Movement. 

Four candidates are angling to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta who is serving two five-year terms. 

The two other candidates are George Wajackoyah of Root party and David Mwaure Waihiga of Agano Party. 

Raila Odinga

Odinga, a veteran opposition leader and one of Kenya’s most popular politicians, is the patriarch of a dynasty that began with his father Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, an independence hero and Kenya’s first vice president.  

Odinga, 77, a former prime minister, has a centre-left campaign agenda that focuses on tackling corruption and fixing the loopholes which he says are denying common Kenyans basic services.  

Odinga, who had contested and lost four presidential elections in the past, said this would be his last attempt. 

William Ruto

Ruto, 55, first came to the limelight in 1992 after he helped found the hugely popular lobby group, Youth for KANU 92 (YK92), which helped the governing Kenya African National Union retain power. 

He had served in parliament and as a cabinet minister in several roles for years until 2007.  Ruto was elected together with President Uhuru after a spirited campaign in 2013. 

Ruto centres his campaign on a bottom-up economic model which, according to him, will put money in the pockets of common people.