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Kenya’s Opposition Split Brightens Kibaki’s Second Term Bid


Kenya’s incumbent President Mwai Kibaki received a significant boost to his second presidential bid after the main opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM-Kenya) split into two following months of feuding between presidential aspirants Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka. With the split, Odinga becomes the leader of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), while Musyoka leads the Orange Democratic Movement-K (ODM-K) in this year’s December presidential election. Meanwhile a recent poll puts incumbent President Kibaki in the lead with Odinga in second place, while Musyoka comes at a distant third.

Mustapha Ali is a Kenyan political analyst. From the capital, Nairobi he tells reporter Peter Clottey that both Odinga and Musyoka need to form additional coalitions if they are to have a chance of stopping President Kibaki’s second term bid.

“I think it would be interesting now to see how the next polls would look like. ODM has been rated by Kenyans as the most popular political party, and now it has been split between ODM-Kenya and ODM. Essentially, ODM-Kenya is just a shell. This is the one that is led by the presidential hopeful Kalonzo Musyoka. The ODM party now, which is led by Raila Odinga and the other presidential aspirants Musailia Mudavadi and William Ruto, it looks like they are the ones who have the upper hand within the ODM itself,” Ali noted.

He said the split is President Kibaki’s gain unless something dramatic happens.

“Definitely it does, Kibaki, according to the polls, which were released w few days ago, Kibaki was leading and then the rest followed by Raila. Now, in terms of party popularity, whichever party Kibaki is going to take would definitely be reaping from the split of ODM-Kenya and ODM. But then in terms of personalities and individuals who are going to run for presidency, now if the ODM party the one led by Raila Odinga are going to stay together then Kibaki still would be in for a very stiff challenge,” he pointed out.

Ali said he expects more coalitions as that would be the only way any of the presidential hopefuls can wrestle power from incumbent President Kibaki.

“I think that is exactly what is happening now. Each and every presidential hopeful is repositioning himself or herself. Remember, Charity Ngilu who is the other rival of Kalonzo Musyoka who is technically walked away with a shell of ODM-Kenya, these two really are competing against each other in the eastern part of Kenya. I think Charity is now trying to have her own or thinking about having her own coalition, Raila has his thing, and I think Kalonzo have his own coalition and I think the Kibaki group is going to have its own coalition. So we are going to see at least three or four coalitions,” Ali said.