Sunday, March 3, 2013

Consequences of Kenya's 2013 Elections


Here is why Kenya's 2013 elections are seminal

1.     This is the first election after the murderous orgies of the 2007 elections;
2.     This the first election held under the new constitution and Kenyans will elect representatives at six levels; President, Governor, Senator, Women’s Representative, Member of Parliament and County Representative;
3.     There will be a second round voting to elect a president if no candidate wins a 50+ 1 majority in the first round;
4.     Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, two individuals indicted by the ICCC for crimes against humanity, are presidential candidate and running mate respectively;
5.      Raila Odinga is the oldest man, after Mwai Kibaki to run for the presidency;
6.     In a test of how far Kenya has moved away from narrow considerations of tribe to a merit based society, Uhuru Kenyatta, son of Kenya’s first president is hoping to succeed Mwai Kibaki, Kenya’s third president and second president from the populous Kikuyu tribe. Kibaki has tacitly endorsed Mr. Kenyatta’s presidential bid;

Here are the likely consequences of the 2013 elections. 


7.     If Raila Odinga loses, this will be the end of more than half-century domination by the Odinga family of politics of the Luo tribe. This could trigger an interesting succession duel for the next Luo kingpin. There are no obvious top contenders who could have the enduring stranglehold of the Odinga’s
8.     If Uhuru Kenyatta loses several things could happen:
a.    The tenuous truce between the Kikuyu and the Kalenjin could fall apart with catastrophic consequences, further complicating the land issues in the Rift Valley;
b.    A vicious political rivalry between the Kikuyu’s and the Kalenjin will ensue, energized by claims of betrayal;
c.     The long practice by the Kikuyu community of never supporting any of the other 41 tribes would come under serious re-consideration;
d.    Out of distrust, the Kikuyu could wander in political wilderness for a really long time, working really hard to win the trust and confidence of other communities in search of a viable political alliance for another presidential bid.
9.     In the event of a second round of voting here is what could happen:
a.    Retired president Moi choses to be consistent and supports Uhuru Kenyatta and helps to consolidate the Kalenjin vote, making a TNA victory highly probable. In this scenario he validates and affirms William Ruto’s leadership of the Kalenjin community, at the expense of his sons and at the risk of putting the last nail on KANU party’s coffin.
b.    Retired president Moi decides he will have the last laugh and settle scores with Kibaki for the despicable way he was treated after Kibaki was elected president in 2002. In this scenario he endorses Raila Odinga and sends a clear message to William Ruto that he is still in charge. Such a move by president Moi would hand Raila Odinga the presidency.
10.  If Raila becomes president, the burden of resolving the Rift Valley land problem will fall on his lap. How he resolves an invigorated animosity between the Kikuyu and the Kalenjin would be interesting to watch. And especially when the evidence against Ruto and Kenyatta at ICC begins to pour forth. This is a landmine and has the potential to be a part of his political legacy, regardless of the outcome.
11.  If Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto win here is what could happen:
a.    They decide the election was a referendum on ICC and refuse to cooperate, putting EU and the US in a very tough position;
b.    A slue of legal suits flood Kenya’s courts, all praying the Kenyatta relinquish the presidency;
c.     The possibility and real attempts of impeachment becomes real, heightening ethnic rivalry and tension among the population in both parliament and the senate;
d.    The state of the economy becomes dire, with the shilling registering a major collapse against the Euro and the dollar, raising the cost of imports such as oil, triggering runaway inflation. 

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