On March 4 2013 Kenyans will go to the polls to elect a new president to replace the outgoing Mwai Kibaki who has served his two full terms. This general elections will also serve as the platform for the voting of Governors (for the 47 counties), MPs (290 of them), Senators (one per county), Woman MP (representing each county), and several County Representatives.
The race to succeed President Kibaki promises to be an interesting one and all indications point to a close race between the RAILA AMOLLO ODINGA and UHURU KENYATTA
Below we take a summary look at the leading presidential candidates in the upcoming elections.
RAILA AMOLLO ODINGA
Raila Amollo Odinga was born on 7th January 1945 in Maseno, Nyanza Province, Kenya. He is the current Prime Minister of Kenya and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) candidate for President for the 2013 general election.
Raila is the son of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Kenya's first vice-President. While growing up he watched his father's struggle for democracy and an independent Kenya from the British and from an early age became determined to do what he could to build a more free and equitable Kenya.
Raila also spent long periods in prison for campaigning for democracy. TheKanu Government detained him without trial for six years. He fled the country and went into political exile in Norway until in 1991 when he returned to re-join the fight for the restoration of multi-party democracy which was eventually guaranteed by a new constitution in the November of the same year.
Raila then devoted the next two decades to the struggle for comprehensive constitutional reform. In 2005, he spearheaded the NO campaign against a flawed constitution that the Narc Government offered to the Kenyan nation. The Orange Campaign and the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) were then born and led Kenya to a new constitution approved overwhelmingly by Kenyans in August 2010.
Raila Odinga is the most experienced of all the presidential candidates seeking to succeed President MwaiKibaki. Opinion polls have all the times put him as the frontrunner to be the 4th president of Kenya. Raila run for the country's top seat in 1997 and in 2007 and this will be his third attempt.
Son of kenya's founding father and first president, Uhuru Kenyatta is without doubt one of the front runners to succeed president Kibaki.UhuruMuigai Kenyatta born 26 October 1961 is a Kenyan politician who has served in the government of Kenya as Deputy Prime Minister since 2008. He is the Member of Parliament for Gatundu South Constituency and Chairman of Kenya African National Union (KANU), which is currently part of the Party of National Unity (PNU). Uhuru mostly enjoys a massive support from his central province backyard and his Kikuyu ethnic group. Uhuru's first short at the presidency was in 2002 when he run against MwaiKibaki of national rainbow coalition (NARC). He came second with over 1.5 million votes separating him
Nominated to Parliament in 2001, he became Minister for Local Government under President Daniel arap Moi and, despite his political inexperience, was favored by President Moi as his successor; Kenyatta ran as KANU's candidate in the December 2002 presidential election, but lost to opposition candidate Mwai Kibaki by a large margin. He subsequently became Leader of the Opposition in Parliament. He backed Kibaki for re-election in the December 2007 presidential election and was named Minister of Local Government by Kibaki in January 2008, before becoming Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade in April 2008 as part of a coalition government.
Subsequently Kenyatta was Minister of Finance from 2009 to 2012, while remaining Deputy Prime Minister. Accused by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of committing crimes against humanity in relation to the violent aftermath of the 2007 election, he resigned as Minister of Finance on 26 January 2012.
The Kikuyus don't vote for anyone other than their own. This may also boast Uhuru's chances of being president. Over the years a trend that has been observed is that whenever elections are held, Kikuyus only vote for their own and not a candidate from another community and this may be a blessing for Uhuru who may become the third kikuyu president after his father and MwaiKibaki.
46year old William Ruto is a Kenyan politician who was Minister in former President Daniel Arap Moi government and currently an accused suspect, by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for committing crimes against humanity. On 19 October 2010, he was suspended by the government on corruption charges .He had previously served in the Ministry of Agriculture since April 2008. William Ruto was elected Director of Elections on 18 March 2002, when the National Development Party led by Raila Odinga merged with the Kenya African National Union (KANU). He was Secretary General of KANU, the former ruling political party, and he has been MP for Eldoret North Constituency since the 1997 Kenyan electionHe became an Assistant Minister in the Office of the President and was appointed Minister in charge of Home Affairs in August 2002 but lost the post after the December 2002 election, in which Kenya African National Union lost to the National Rainbow Coalition. He also previously served as the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional Reform in the 9th Parliament.
Ruto has been implicated in orchestrating the 2007/2008 post election violence in Kenya. On 3 November 2010, Ruto flew to the International Criminal Court at the Hague to discuss an evidence deal with the prosecutor. On 15 December 2010, Ruto was named in a summons by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, in relation to his role in violence which followed from the 2007 elections.
Since his acrimonious fallout with Raila, Ruto has made it clear that come Election Day his name will be in the ballot paper and seek the mandate to be the president of Kenya.The country's electoral landscape has been shifted by changes to the electoral pacts that were announced in early December 2012. The most significant alteration is to the Jubilee alliance between former cabinet minister William Ruto, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi following the latter's withdrawal in early January.
This will also be the first general election held under the new constitution, which was passed during the 2010 referendum and the first general elections run by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission(IEBC).