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Raila Amolo Odinga (born 7 January 1945), also popularly known to his supporters as Agwambo (meaning the “Mysterious One”), Tinga (Luo and Swahili for “tractor”), Baba (Swahili for “father”), RAO, (abbreviated form of “Raila Amolo Odinga”) and Jakom (Luo for “Chairman”) is a Kenyan politician who was Prime Minister of Kenya from 2008 to 2013. He was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Langata in 1992, serving as Minister of Energy from 2001 to 2002 and as Minister of Roads, Public Works, and Housing from 2003 to 2005. He was the main opposition candidate in the 2007 presidential election, running against incumbent Mwai Kibaki. Following a violence-marred election and post-poll crisis, Odinga was appointed Prime Minister in April 2008 in a power-sharing deal with Mwai Kibaki, serving as Supervisor and Coordinator of a national unity coalition government. In the subsequent presidential election 5 years later he placed second against Uhuru Kenyatta, Kibaki’s favoured successor, garnering 5,340,546 votes, which represented 43.28% of the total votes cast.
Son of the first Vice President of Kenya, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, the family has drawn unwavering support from its Luo constituency Luo, a tribe whose rivalry with the Kikuyu has defined a big part of Kenya’s post-Independence history. Raila is commonly known by his first name due to coincidence: he was an MP at the same time as his father between 1992 and 1994.