4 January 2013

Kenya: Tipping Point for Political Parties


The shaky mergers and political alliances are over. Now we have Jubilee, Cord, Eagle and Pambazuka as the Wamalwa-Mudavadi alliance is still cooking.

Never mind that Jubilee and Pambazuka alliances have had their rocky starts. As Musalia was being ejected from the Jubilee alliance over his controversial stand on the presidential nomination process, Wamalwa chose to bolt out of Pambazuka of Cyrus Jirongo, Gideon Moi and Nicholas Biwott to join forces with his fellow Luhya to consolidate the Luhya vote.

For most of these alliances especially the major ones, the Coast is already clear. Kenyans already know who the flag bearers and their running mates are.

Now we know that Uhuru Kenyatta, Raila Odinga, Peter Kenneth and possibly Musalia Mudavadi will be on the ballot as presidential candidates.

We know that former presidential wannabes - William Ruto, Kalonzo Musyoka, Raphael Tuju and Eugene Wamalwa - will be ready to play second fiddle to their principals.

The other presidential wannabes still looking for a miracle to take them to State House come March 4 are Martha Karua and former Education PS James ole Kiyiapi who have resisted the merger storm.

But there is another group of former presidential wan-nabes that swallowed their pride to save their political careers. They include Charity Ngilu and Moses Wetangula who will be nobody's running mates.

Instead they will run for senator in their

counties with the possibility that their parties win the majority for them to be majority leaders. However, looking at the fractured political scene, there is a real possibility that there will be no party with a clear majority in Parliament.

Jubilee or Cord may take power with a slim majority that will be the subject of vicious attacks of smaller parties. And knowing how Kenyan politics is more personal than issues-oriented, some of the aggrieved losers will be busy bringing down the winner than engaging in constructive debate.

The morning after March 4 will see two scenarios;there will be some real big names wailing and gnaw- ing their teeth into political oblivion for at least the next five years.

These are those who will have lost the presidency and their running mates. Unfortunately these wailers will be the majority. And as they lick theirIf Ngilu loses to Musila, the combined ODM-Wiper onslaught is likely to wipe Narc out of Ukambani politics.

But as they say, it is never over until the fat lady does her gig. Ngilu may just pull a fast one even if it is only to save her political career.

As usual, Western province will be a free for all affair where every party will be clawing at one another to get the upper hand.

However, the contest will be between Moses Wetangula of Cord with support cast from the Cord entire national team. At the opposite corner will be Musalia Mudavadi and Eugene Wamalwa who are already facing stiff competition in their backyards.

Chances of Cord and Jubilee alliances splitting the votes in North Eastern the way PNU and ODM did in 2007 are very high considering that the main political players in the current alliances are the same.

However, the real battle royale will be fought, won and lost in the Rift Valley. Here is where bitter rivals will either meet their waterloo or claim victory.

Raila Odinga and his Cord team, especially the remaining Kalenjin political kingpins, will want to prove that Ruto's departure from ODM was of no consequence. Defeating Ruto in his backyard will be a devastating and demoralising experience.

The writer is a media consultant. 

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