It’s that time of the cycle when we will be fed with more politics than the food we consume everyday. This year, Kenya will be holding an election that will remain key in the country’s history for decades to come.
The 2012 general elections to be held in the next 8 or 12 months will not only be transitional but will be the first in under new laws and Constitution. It will also be complex than any other in history due to the large number of positions to be filled and coming after the bungled 2007 one.
Examining the political developments so far, my analysis is that Raila Odinga will be competing against himself unless his opponents in the chaotic PNU/G7 put their house in order. And not forgetting the G47 and UDF grouping that are likely to make a major upset in the country.
It is without doubt that this will be the first election that will go into a second round given the nature of Kenyan politics. It is also like to attract the highest number of presidential candidates while a huge number of politicians are likely to stay in the cold for five years with some ending their political careers.
But this not withstanding, I believe that the PNU operatives are behaving in a manner to suggest that they do not have the appetite of forming the next government. I see them playing their politics in a manner to suggest that they would rather send themselves into political abyss and allow their main opponent Raila Odinga to form government and control parliament.
Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto, George Saitoti, Kalonzo Musyoka and Eugene Wamalwa appear lost to the winning formula for this election especially since the high likelihood is that there will be a runoff. Their huge egos tell each of them that they can go it alone and still manage to win which for me is a long shot.
In my own view, to form a strong government after the election, you need a strong presidential candidate with a strong running mate and a strong political party. The political party is particularly key since gunning as many MPs as possible assure any team the position of leader of the majority party.
Any government will benefit immensely by having this position as it not only assures it of having a smooth push to its business in Parliament but also gives it the number two position in the house. No president would wish to have the majority leader coming from outside their party as this creates too much of a strong official opposition.
Instead of haggling on who should be the presidential candidate, I would for free advise Uhuru, Kalonzo, Saitoti, Ruto, Eugene and their allies to concentrate on forming the three-man winning team and put together a national political vehicle. That way they ensure that they got a chance to be in government and those who fail to make it can stay relevant.
This will also ensure that they remain a strong team when the elections go into a runoff. Otherwise, the haggling over a political party and who to be candidate will only handover the presidency to their rival Raila Odinga.