Poll: Most MPs to lose their seats

December 23, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 23 – A new poll indicates that half of the current Members of Parliament in the10th Parliament would not recapture their seats if elections were held today.

The Infotrack Research and Monitoring survey shows that 56 percent of Kenyans would not re-elect their current MPs while 16 percent were not sure whether they would vote them back.

"Many Kenyans now know who their MPs are. So we asked them, \’would you re-elect this same MP if elections were to be held today?\’ 56 percent said \’No\’, 16 percent were undecided but another 28 percent said they would absolutely vote back their MP,"Infotrack Managing Director Angela Ambitho said.

The reasons why majority of the respondents would not re-elect their legislators was because they thought that the MPs engage in corrupt practices and are not development conscious.

They also disapprove of the delays in the passing of bills and also their self interests particularly when it comes to increasing their salaries.

The survey which sampled 1,500 respondents was conducted on December 16 -17 before the Parliamentarians started and eventually passed a motion seeking to have Kenya withdraw from the Rome Statute that established the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Ms Ambitho however said that had the poll been done in the last few days, then the number of Kenyans who would not vote back their MPs would have been higher as a reflection of the dissatisfaction that Kenyans feel with the move to pull the country out of the ICC.

Although she acknowledged that this was an isolated case and could not be entirely used to forecast the numbers, she said the passing of this motion pointed to the MPs\’ self interest, which Kenyans disapprove of.

"Come 2012, we are likely to see a very active, more dynamic and competitive terrain but I also expect that Kenyans will be more enlightened, they will be looking at issues and they will be looking at individuals who have the credentials that will make for good leaders," she forecasted.

Despite this seeming displeasure with the individual legislators, 60 percent of those polled said they were happy with the performance of the 10th Parliament especially in enacting laws, oversight and representation roles.

"Over the years, Kenya parliament has received extremely lay and disapproving ratings from the people they represent. Interestingly, the performance of parliament and overall perception seems to have improved in 2010 in comparison to the previous years," the MS said.

The improved ratings were credited to their role in the passing of the new constitution, which was ranked highest on Kenyans\’ wish list in 2009 as well as the heated debates that are aired live on local television channels.

And following the promulgation of the new law, Kenyans now say in 2011, they would like the President and the Prime Minister to ensure that they co-exist peacefully.

While they don\’t think that the naming of the six masterminds of the 2007/2008 post election violence warrants the high tension, those interviewed said they would like the government to ensure security in the country.

"Another one percent wish the two leaders would hasten the establishment of a local tribunal which they believe would ensure justice prevails in the country," the survey showed.


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