President Uhuru Kenyatta in Pipeline, Nairobi, yesterday. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has remained emphatic about ODM leader Raila Odinga being his preferred successor ahead of the August 9 election.

He has faced criticism and backlash, especially in his Mt Kenya backyard.

President Kenyatta yesterday said he has a right to be involved in succession politics.

“I don’t think I have wronged anyone by settling on a particular candidate. My choice doesn’t mean other candidates are my enemies,” he said.

The President spoke in Pipeline after attending a church service at AIC, where he also called for peace and political tolerance during the campaign period.

He continued: “Choosing to support Mr Odinga does not mean other candidates are bad. It only means I know what I want and I know where my vote will go.”

In March, the President officially endorsed Mr Odinga for the presidency. He has not shied away from campaigning for him and popularising Azimio la Umoja.

“We have chosen Mr Odinga without any opposition to be the fifth President,” he said.

Deputy President William Ruto is the ODM leader’s main challenger. He had hoped the President would support his bid. 

Yesterday, President Kenyatta condemned violence in political rallies, citing Mr Odinga’s attack on Friday at Soy in Uasin Gishu county. Youth hurled stones at his vehicle and chopper. 

He said political competition should not be taken as enmity. The president also asked leaders to commit to a peaceful transfer of power after the election. 

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