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More Kenyans back Raila-Uhuru alliance

By | August 22nd 2010

By Alex Ndegwa

Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta alliance is the most popular ticket for president in the 2012 General Election, says a new poll.

Coming weeks after their much publicised meeting at Raila’s Nairobi home in Karen, where Uhuru led the Kenyatta family to wish the PM good health, findings by the Infotrak Harris Poll are likely to further fuel speculation of a political alliance involving sons of Kenya’s founding President and first Vice-President.

Raila and Uhuru lead the pack as most preferred presidential and vice-presidential candidates. Though he is the favourite for running mate for all presidential aspirants, Uhuru’s alliance with Raila is the most popular.

With 43 per cent endorsing Uhuru as Raila’s running mate, hence designating him deputy president, the alliance appears the most potent, according to the survey conducted this month.

The pollster interviewed 1,200 respondents in all the eight provinces.

The new Constitution requires the winning presidential candidate garners more than half of all the votes cast, and at least 25 per cent of the votes cast in 24 of 47 counties.

The survey indicates one of three Kenyans or 32 per cent are convinced it is a viable political alliance.

A third or about 28 per cent suggest it will reconcile the country.

"The Raila-Uhuru alliance is not only viewed as great, but also a cohesion tool for tribal differences," says the pollster, alluding to the tension that has characterised relations between the two dominant communities.

With Ruto as the presidential candidate, one of three Kenyans (30 per cent) picks Uhuru as the running mate, with Musalia (20 per cent) beating Kalonzo (19 per cent), as presumptive deputy president.

But with the Vice-President seeking to succeed President Kibaki, 29 per cent prefer Uhuru as his running mate.

The making of the Eastern-Western alliance unfolds as 20 per cent of respondents tip Mudavadi, while 19 per cent back Ruto for Kalonzo’s running mate.

With Water Minister Charity Ngilu as the presidential candidate, Uhuru still leads the chart of her running mate, at 23 per cent. Musalia and Narc-Kenya chairperson Martha Karua come second with 18 per cent.

But voters feel Ngilu-Kalonzo ticket is not feasible, perhaps because of their shared ethnicity and frosty relations.

Warning on polls

Raila still leads the pack in the race for State House with 46 per cent suggesting he is the most suitable for president in the 2012 General Election.

The Lang’ata MP recorded over 50 per cent approval ratings in five provinces, with his presidential candidature least popular in Eastern (12 per cent), Central (13 per cent), and Rift Valley (26 per cent).

But Uhuru’s popularity has surged with the poll placing him second at 13 per cent, in the presidential race.

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