Kenya's first-ever presidential debate

Watch highlights of Monday's debate, which included all eight participants in closely-fought election.

    This is a shortened version of Kenya's first-ever presidential debate, which aired on Monday, February 11. All eight participants in the hotly-contested race took part in the discussion.

    Raila Odinga, the Kenyan prime minister, and his deputy Uhuru Kenyatta, who faces trial for crimes against humanity, are seen as the favourites in the March 4 election.

    During the debate, Kenyatta insisted that the charges he face at the International Criminal Court (ICC) will not hinder him from running the country.

    Kenyatta, the son of Kenya's founding president, faces trial along with his running mate William Ruto at the ICC for their alleged roles in orchestrating murder of around 1,000 people, rape and violence after the 2007 poll.

    Kenyatta was asked about his ability to run the country despite facing the charges by the debate's moderators. An audience of about 200 people also participated in questioning the candidates.

    "I will be able to handle the issue of clearing our names ... while at the same time ensuring that the business of government continues," Kenyatta said in reply to a question about how he and Ruto will juggle court appearances and run the country if elected.

    But his key challenger scoffed at the possibility of running Kenya from The Hague-based ICC. 

    "I know that it will pose serious challenges to run a government by Skype from The Hague," Odinga said. "I know that it is not practical."

    President Mwai Kibaki is stepping down after two terms in office.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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