Mwai Kibaki – 75
Raila Odinga – 62
Kalonzo Musyoka – 53
Uhuru Kenyatta – 46
I will bet my blog on this: Kenya’s next president will come from one of the above four politicians.
Eliminations weakest to strongest candidate:
Uhuru Kenyatta: The youngest of all who also has the least experience. The fact that he still remains a Kikuyu also works against him given the incumbent is a Kikuyu.
Raila and Kalonzo see him as the edge they would need to split the Kikuyu vote with Kibaki. They will however not allow another Kikuyu candidate to go against Kibaki.
Long term outlook: If he plays his cards right and ODM wins he would be in line to be the candidate in the future. His youth and access to money makes him a contender for years to come.
Raila Odinga: What can we say about him that he hasn’t said already? He is the greatest asset in any election but he is never a viable candidate.
Raila’s biggest hurdle is to overcome his polarizing political nature that has made him a household name yet alienated him from a substantial group of Kenyans.
Tribalism remains the most dominant factor in Kenyan politics and people’s perception – whether warranted – of Raila as a champion of the Luos and anti-Kikuyu surely works against him.
Long term outlook: the best outcome for Raila would be supporting a candidate and hoping that the candidate will not play another MOU misunderstanding as Kibaki did in 2002.
If an ODM government took power in 2008 and Raila was patient enough, he would have tremendous leverage as a presidential candidate in 2012.
Kalonzo Musyoka: He is perhaps the best candidate out of the ODM camp. He is young, has political experience and has managed to steer away from hard lined political enemies.
Kalonzo makes the strongest case for a compromise candidate if ODM is going to contend and win.
And with Uhuru and Raila fully behind his candidature, he would tilt the balance away from Kibaki and Narc Kenya.
Long Term Outlook: Kalonzo will be in contention for a few more elections. His best chance is definitely this year as an ODM presidential candidate with the support of Raila and Uhuru.
Mwai Kibaki – greatest advantage is incumbency.
A good example is the recent waving off of the secondary school fee starting next year – it was a calculated political move to sway Kenyans into keeping him for another term.
He has the advantages of economic progress achieved during his current administration.
At the same time he has the burden of a corrupt government with key ministers such as Michuki continually being accused of shielding corruption.
Kibaki’s fortunes will drastically improve if any of the major candidates in ODM bolts. The president has to shake off corruption charges by showing real progress as we near the election.
A Michuki exit from government would go far in the minds of Kenyan voters
Long Term Outlook: Retirement. Whether in 2008 or 2012 is the question that will be answered in 6 months time.
p.s. we are in this