Saturday, September 25, 2010

Opinion Poll Puts Raila and Uhuru In Front In The race To 2012

Prime Minister Raila Odinga is still the most preferred presidential candidate and Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta the best choice for a running mate, a survey shows.

The Synovate poll, released on Friday, gives Mr Odinga a 47 per cent approval rating as a potential presidential candidate, while an Odinga/Kenyatta ticket is given a thumbs up by 29pc of Mr Odinga's backers.

Of the PM's followers, 22 per cent support Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi as Mr Odinga's running mate in the 2012 General Election. Mr Mudavadi is also one of Mr Odinga's deputies in the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), the other is Higher Education Minister William Ruto.

A further 18 per cent said they preferred Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka as the PM's running mate in 2012.

Mr Ruto (8pc) and Gichugu MP Martha Karua (5pc) are the other potential running mates for Mr Odinga, his supporters indicated.

Mr Odinga and Mr Ruto fell out soon after the Grand Coalition Government was established as part of a deal to end the post election violence in 2008. They have disagreed on a number of issues, including sharing of seats on the ODM half of the Cabinet and the controversial Mau resettlement programme early this year. Their differences culminated in them leading opposing camps during the referendum campaigns.

The new Constitution requires candidates who offer themselves for the presidency in 2012 to identify a running mate.

Article 148 (1) says: Each candidate in a presidential election shall nominate a person who is qualified for nomination for election as President, as a candidate for Deputy President.

Kalonzo Musyoka

If Mr Musyoka was to stand for election as president, according to the poll, 45pc of his supporters prefer Mr Kenyatta as his deputy. His other potential running mates are Mr Ruto (16pc) and Mr Odinga (11pc).

Mr Musyoka came third in the 2007 presidential elections. He led his ODM Kenya party into a coalition with President Kibaki's Party of National Unity (PNU) to face off with Mr Odinga's ODM in the negotiations mediated by former UN secretary general Kofi Annan to end the chaos that followed the disputed presidential election.

Uhuru Kenyatta

Mr Kenyatta's supporters for the presidency say that they prefer Mr Musyoka as his running mate with a 39pc rating, while 19pc said they preferred Mr Ruto. Only 11pc said they wanted Mr Odinga to be the Mwingi North MP's second in command.

The poll, which was conducted between September 16-20 and targeting 1,501 Kenyans, showed that if Mr Ruto was to go for the top seat, Mr Kenyatta (42pc) and Mr Musyoka (30pc) were his most preferred running mates. A paltry nine per cent said they support PM Odinga as Mr Ruto's potential vice president.

The three leaders are said to be exploring ways of working together, under the Kikuyu, Kalenjin, Kamba (KKK) alliance, to clinch the presidency in the next elections.

Martha Karua

Ms Karua’s followers said Mr Musyoka is the most preferred running mate at 27 pc, closely followed by Mr Kenyatta (26pc) with a further 15pc backing Mr Odinga.

Mr Karua quit government as Justice minister and has declared her intention to contest the presidency in the next elections.

On average, Mr Kenyatta is the most popular running mate with 23 per cent, followed by Mr Musyoka (20pc).

The decision by Mr Odinga's followers to indicate their biggest support for Mr Kenyatta as the former's most preferred running mate could have been informed by talk of an alliance-building between the two leaders.

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