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

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go 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.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More