News / Africa

    Kenya PM Aims to Win Presidency in First Round

    Orange Democratic Party presidential candidate, Raila Odinga (R), displays his registration certificate, with running mate Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka (L), in Nairobi, Kenya, January 30, 2013.
    Orange Democratic Party presidential candidate, Raila Odinga (R), displays his registration certificate, with running mate Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka (L), in Nairobi, Kenya, January 30, 2013.
    Andrew Green
    With less than three weeks before the Kenyan presidential election, current Prime Minister Raila Odinga is vying for an outright first-round win. As election day gets closer, Odinga’s campaign is increasing its criticism of his main opponent in hopes of avoiding a run-off vote.

    Odinga and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta are Kenya’s presidential frontrunners. With eight candidates in the field, however, surveys indicate none of the contenders will win more than half the vote in the first round. That would set up a run-off election between the top two finishers.  

    Despite the polls, Odinga’s strategists are convinced a first-round victory is possible.

    It is a massive operation. The Odinga campaign includes eight different advance teams and thousands of volunteers. Last week they organized packed rallies across the Coast province.

    There, members of Odinga’s Coalition for Reforms and Democracy increased their offensive against Kenyatta, continuously reminding voters that he is under indictment by the International Criminal Court.

    The National Alliance Party (TNA) presidential candidate Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta right, and his running mate William Ruto, talk during a rally at Uhuru Park, in Nairobi, January 12, 2013.The National Alliance Party (TNA) presidential candidate Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta right, and his running mate William Ruto, talk during a rally at Uhuru Park, in Nairobi, January 12, 2013.
    x
    The National Alliance Party (TNA) presidential candidate Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta right, and his running mate William Ruto, talk during a rally at Uhuru Park, in Nairobi, January 12, 2013.
    The National Alliance Party (TNA) presidential candidate Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta right, and his running mate William Ruto, talk during a rally at Uhuru Park, in Nairobi, January 12, 2013.
    Kenyatta and his running mate, William Ruto, are both charged in connection with the violence that swept across Kenya after the disputed presidential election in 2007. Kenyatta  repeatedly has denied the ICC charges, and said during Monday’s presidential debate the trial would not interfere with his ability to govern the country.

    At a rally in Malindi, though, Odinga running mate Kalonzo Musyoka warned voters that electing Kenyatta would damage Kenya’s international reputation.

    “We do not want as a people to do things that are going to bring disgrace and dishonor to this nation,” said Musyoka.

    In a country with 42 different ethnic communities, tribalism in voting also is a key concern. Wafula Buke, the campaign’s field manager, said Odinga is looking to project an image of inclusiveness.

    “For once, you can have 40 communities identify him as a leader that can help this nation move forward," said Buke. "Of course, in the remaining two, which is our rival’s strongholds, we have elements of support, but there they dominate.”

    Buke said the campaign also will continue to focus on land redistribution, which played well in the Coast province. Odinga’s manifesto promises to address situations where communities were forcibly displaced from land.

    Walter Odhiambo, who is helping run the campaign for a local member of parliament, said Odinga’s land stance was one of the main reasons his candidate joined the prime minister’s coalition.

    “It’s the key reason. We need the land issue to be settled. We need the poverty to be settled," said Odhiambo. "We think if we choose CORD to govern the country, we will realize all these things.”

    Following Monday’s debate, Odinga is set to return to the road. Buke said that while the campaign’s key messages are established, the schedule is flexible depending on what additional issues arise.

    You May Like

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Paul Gesimba from: Nairobi
    February 13, 2013 3:45 AM
    Well the land issue is critical and crucial and so are othe historical injustices and many unresolved issues like the post elections violence and Kenya has not yet fully healed .The huge debt burden and the looming threath of sanctions with such a debt burden all call for a candidate who will be able to address and fully deal with these challenges .The PM seems to fit the bill

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora