More resent for Kenya coalition govt

April 18, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 18 – The score card of the coalition government continues to dwindle with a new survey indicating that over 56 percent of Kenyans had lost faith in the shaky political marriage.

In the poll released on Saturday by Steadman Research Company, Kenyans expressed disappointment with the way the government is dealing with key challenges of poverty, prices of basic commodities, corruption and unemployment. Over half of those interviewed want early polls to replace the ‘ineffective government.’

Researcher Tom Wolf attributed this loss of faith to the uncertainties created by the squabbles within the coalition government.

“Kenyans have seen that the disagreements that are there are just politics and they are willing to say that this power sharing agreement is not working without fearing so much what will be the alternative,” Dr Wolf said.

Coalition partners Party of National Unity (PNU) and the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) have continued to disagree publicly over the implementation of the peace accord they signed early last year. Amidst harsh economic times, the disagreements and undelivered election promises Kenyans have continued to lose patience with the government.

In July last year 77 percent approved of the political marriage, while in December this went down to 61 percent.

According to the poll the citizenry is also losing faith in political parties. 35 percent had no particular party to support. ODM however leads with 31 percent with PNU coming a distant second with 11 percent. NARC Kenya and ODM Kenya are third and fourth with, 10 and 8 percent respectively.

“For the first time the most popular party is ‘none’. It is my guess that is a reflection of the level of dissatisfaction with the way things are going,” he said. “The other factor is that people could be saying that they are unhappy with the present parties.”

However with the waning support for the government and political parties former Justice Minister Martha Karua’s star appears to have started rising. In the poll 16 percent of those interviewed support her presidency three points behind that of Prime Minister Raila Odinga who is leading. Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka third and President Kibaki fourth with 14 and 6 percent respectively.

“Karua is quite close,” Dr Wolf said of poll.

Ms Karua resigned two weeks ago claiming that some of her colleagues in the government have frustrated her reform agenda.


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