Voters advised to change their strategy

October 15, 2011 2:14 pm
A voter casting his ballot /FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 15- The Kenyan electorate should desist from voting along ethnic lines in the next presidential elections despite the presidency having attracted many candidates so far, political analyst has said.

Law lecturer Martin Oloo told Capital News that the electorate is used to complaining on the quality of leadership yet they use subjective preferences rather than objectivity during the choice of candidates in elections.

He said that politicians will always play the tribal card and the electorates will have themselves to blame if they fall to the tribal games and fail to choose the right leader to steer forward the nation after the next general election.

He said: “We do not use well test principles of leadership – integrity, transparency accountability as yardsticks to judge leaders, rather we use regional blocks, ethnicity, their ability to abuse others, their ability display resources and even their ability to cause violence.”

“Much as we complain about the quality of leadership, leaders are a reflection of our voting and we should choose leaders who are worth the values prescribed in chapter six of the constitution and indeed we will have a choice in 2012,” he added.

Results of a poll by research firm Infotrak Harris on Friday showed that 86 percent of Kenyan voters intend to participate in the 2012 general elections with Nairobi, Nyanza and Western being the regions recording high incidence levels at 94 percent, 93 percent and 92 percent respectively.

The high desire to vote is attributed to a hunger for change that will see a stronger economy, reduced inflation, increased employment and overall better living standards for all Kenyans.

Those who don’t intend to participate in the elections (seven percent) cited apathy and mistrust with current and potential leadership as their main deterrent.

Oloo further reiterated that many of the aspirants that have currently declared their intentions to vie for the presidency mainly rely on the support base of the regions they come from and this could be an inhibitive factor in achieving greater national unity.

Oloo has advised the candidates that they need to work on numbers outside the regions to meet the constitutional threshold of winning the elections

“Despite that these aspirants depend on their regions for votes, the constitutional threshold to be met by the winner of the elections is quite demanding. Aspirants need to work outside their regions. The election is about how much of national appeal an aspirant has,” he affirmed.

“The danger here is that politicians are hell bent on dividing us more because they want us to continue playing around tribal lines,” he said.

The constitution stipulates that the winner of the presidency will have to receive more than half of all the total votes cast in an election with at least 25 percent of the votes cast in more than half of the counties.

The field is becoming crowded with 18 individuals having already declared their intention to run.

This, the lecturer explained was because the presidency still wielded more powers and is still attractive as compared to the devolved units of government.

“The constitution as it is much as is devolves power, still has a central government that is has power so the very many numbers of people that have declared their intentions to vie for the presidency know that the presidency will still ‘call the shots’, the presidency is still so attractive,” he explained.

However, he expressed confidence that the number of aspirants could be whittled down by party primaries.


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