Mudavadi’s ‘Good News’ Promise To Bondo Materialize as Raila Joins AU Chairman Race With Very High Chances of Winning

February 15, 2024

Following weeks of speculation, ODM party leader Raila Odinga has announced his readiness to vie for the chairmanship of the African Union, marking a significant moment in his political career.

The former Prime Minister has previously toyed with the idea, particularly during Uhuru’s final year, but those ambitions were reportedly tanked by then newly elected president William Ruto after Raila failed to recognize his victory.

Facing prospects of completely missing out on the seat he desires most, Raila has now shifted gears, and this time it appears he has the blessings and support of the state.

During a speech in Karen on Thursday morning, Odinga highlighted his qualifications and motivation for seeking the position.

“I am inclined to accept the challenge and I am ready and I offer myself to be of service,” Odinga stated, revealing that he had engaged in extensive consultations before making his decision.

He credited former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, who was present for the press conference, for being a pivotal supporter, encouraging discussions about his potential candidacy.

Odinga emphasized the unique position Africa holds as the birthplace of humanity and expressed his vision for elevating the continent on the global stage.

“Africa is playing in a league that it should not play in.. and that it deserves better,” he remarked, pointing out his past experience as the AU’s high representative as a valuable foundation for understanding the diverse strengths of African nations.

This experience, he believes, equips him well to lead the continent towards greater unity and success.

The pursuit of the AU Commission chairmanship, currently held by Moussa Faki of Chad, requires the backing of AU member states, making the support of President William Ruto’s administration crucial for Odinga’s candidacy.

Such an endorsement would not only signify a political alliance but could also significantly alter Kenya’s political dynamics and Odinga’s involvement in the 2027 presidential elections.

The role of AU chairperson, demanding neutrality in continental political affairs, offers a prominent platform for addressing critical issues like elections, conflicts, and development both in Africa and internationally.

The nomination process involves the candidate’s home country proposing their candidacy, followed by regional and continental lobbying for support.

With Raila Odinga’s bid potentially needing the advocacy of Musalia Mudavadi, a former ally turned critic, the political landscape is set for intriguing developments. Odinga’s commitment to serving Africa and his extensive diplomatic and political experience position him as a strong contender for this influential role.

Should Kenya come out fully in support of Odinga’s candidature, his chances are pretty good, owing to the numerous ‘shuttle diplomacy’ missions Ruto has been engaged in across the continent. Raila also seemingly does not have a strong opponent.

His candidature was hinted by Foreign Affairs CS Musalia Mudavadi two weeks ago, when he promised the people of Bondo ‘good news’.

The election of the new AU chairman will take place on February 25, 2024.

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