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Raila and Uhuru share a joke/FILE


Raila crushes rivals in latest opinion poll

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 15 – The latest opinion poll shows that Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s popularity rating is still ahead of all the other presidential aspirants, if elections were held today.

The survey which was conducted by Nakuru-based Smart Octopus Limited shows that Mr Odinga is ahead of the pack at 26 percent, although he has slightly dropped by two points since another poll in March.

“We have been seeing realignment especially in the ODM party.  You’ve seen the shift by William Ruto to UDM; this could be analogies to the story in Chinua Achebe’s Things fall Apart where we had the tall trees and it had the feathers of a bird. Maybe the birds are now plucking the feathers away… that is the only reason we could attribute to the decline of Mr Odinga,” Smart Octopus MD Samuel Chege said.

Mr Chege said Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta has maintained his 23 percent rating while suspended Higher Education Minister William Ruto and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka are gainers after each registered a five percent improvement to stand at 19 and 16 percent respectively.

Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa is at six percent.

Newcomer Ben Mulwa got four percent largely attributed to his support on the social media sites, where he has been running his campaign.

Narc-Kenya Chairperson Martha Karua scored three percent in the poll.

Mr Chege said the poll results show that a 2012 runoff is imminent, since there is no candidate who will be able to garner the constitutional threshold of 50 percent +1 of all votes cast and more than 25 percent of votes in majority of the counties in round one of presidential election.

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And if a run off was to be held in the polls, the survey shows that Mr Kenyatta will beat Mr Odinga with 52 to 37 percent.

The poll shows that Mr Musyoka is the best placed candidate in the G-7 political alliance to face the Prime Minister as he would floor him by 64 percent to 28 percent.

The poll further say 72 percent of Kenyans don’t think there will be an election next year.

Mr Chege said: “We have the issue of logistics, because as of now we are yet to see the formation of the necessary institutions that will be conducting those elections, in spite of Parliament trying to enact the laws, most Kenyans think we will not be ready by August 14, 2012.”

The poll also suggests that a majority of Kenyans believe that the charges against the Ocampo Six will not be confirmed by the ICC.  William Ruto, Henry Kosgey and Joshua arap Sang are due to appear before the court from September 1, while the second batch of hearings for confirmation of charges for the remaining trio of Uhuru Kenyatta, Francis Muthaura and Hussein Ali will commence on September 21.

The study established that the corporate and private sector and individuals are rated highly for their response to the hunger and famine affecting parts of the country.

The civil society had the worst response to the drought situation.

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