News / Africa

Kenyan Somalis May Lean Toward Odinga in Vote

Kenyan Prime Minister and presidential candidate Raila Odinga attends the second presidential debate at Brookhouse School in Nairobi, Feb. 25, 2013.
Kenyan Prime Minister and presidential candidate Raila Odinga attends the second presidential debate at Brookhouse School in Nairobi, Feb. 25, 2013.
In Kenya, political coalitions usually are formed on the basis of tribal alliance and who can get the most votes from their base. With next week's presidential vote looking to be a close contest, though, minority tribes have a bigger role to play.

The latest public-opinion poll shows Prime Minister Raila Odinga running neck-and-neck with Uhuru Kenyatta in the presidential race. Political observers estimate the tribes of the two men and their running mates account for about 10 million of Kenya's 14 million registered voters.

Political analyst Adam Oloo, a lecturer at the University of Nairobi, said Odinga's CORD coalition and Kenyatta's Jubilee coalition are tribal-based, but minority tribes are likely to go with the one that has a national image.

“Going into 2013 election, you will find that Jubilee has been painted as what you can call dominated by two tribes, basically Kikuyu and Kalenjin, and therefore CORD is trying to say that 'We are the national face,' and therefore under that circumstance you find that nearly 10 smaller parties joined it,” said Oloo.

Key Somali region

The latest survey suggests out of three counties in the predominantly Somali region in the north, two will vote for CORD.  

Oloo notes minority tribes feel their vote will not bring much change if they vote for a candidate who has a support of more than one big tribe.

“What they look at is who will care about our board, and they look at it if there is electing around two big tribes, for example the way Jubilee has two big tribes, then they feel that their vote will not count there... but when they look at CORD which is trying to pick a few here, a few there and trying to appeal to the conscience across the breath of the country, then they feel that their interests might be well addressed under CORD than Jubilee,” said Oloo.

Kenyatta and his running mate, parliament member William Ruto, both are charged with crimes committed during inter-tribal fighting that erupted following the last disputed election in 2007.

Impact of charges

The opinion poll shows that 35 percent of voters believe Kenyatta will not be able to govern the country well because of pending cases of the International Criminal Court. Diplomats have warned of possible political and financial consequences if the two ICC suspects are elected next week.

Adan Mohamed is a businessman in Eastleigh, a predominantly ethnic-Somali part of Nairobi. He said he will not vote for a leader he knows will have consequences on his business.

“As a businessman I would not like to be involved in anything that I know is going to bring problem to my business, like politics. I would not like to elect someone, for example the two ICC suspects, if the country faces sanction that is going to affect me and my business. I would not want to elect such a person,” said Mohamed.

After months of crisscrossing the country, the presidential campaigns are scheduled to end March 2, two days before the election.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Troops Depart

Afghans are grappling with how exodus will affect country's fragile economy More

Video Scientists Say We Need Softer Robots

Today’s robots are mostly hard, rigid machines, with sharp edges and forceful movements, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they should be softer and therefore safer More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Kingori from: Kenya
February 26, 2013 1:54 AM
These are the views of Oloo, a luo like his presidential candidate. It would have been wise to seek views of the other party. We are going to vote for jubilee because we know he is innocent and not corrupt. We can not vote for somebody who has nothing tangible to show for many years he has been a leader in Kenya other than saying he was jailed, A leader who once attempted a coup. A leader who has represented the biggest slum in African but for decades did nothing for them. We are going to vote for Uhuru come what may. We pray this time round the CORD leader will accept defeat to avoid chaos.
In Response

by: Dale Roark from: USA
February 26, 2013 4:12 PM
I am not sure who will be the best but I am sure that Ralia will be do what he can to install Shiria law in Kenya. When I arrived in Keny ain 1994 the per capita income was $1300/year when I left in 2006 it was $370.

by: Mohamed from: Nairobi
February 26, 2013 1:47 AM
This article is baseless, I am Somali community in Kenya, in this critical condition its shamefull that VOA to report that Somali are voting one side, please review your article

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs