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Going it alone an uphill task for Raila

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Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga during an interview with The Standard at his home in Karen

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga

Kenya’s current political formation shows that it will be extremely difficult for an individual to go it alone for President and carry the day.

We are living in the era of political coalitions, where individuals come together for the sake of acquiring power, because that is the endgame of politics, all over the world. And because the country’s political landscape is so ethnicised, it makes matters worse for anybody to go it alone.

The essence of political coalitions in this time and age, and more so for any developing democracy like Kenya’s, is to put ethnic interests in one basket and support an individual who will cater for the leaders of the parties supporting him or her. Individuals vote out of fear. They want to be on the winning side. It is this fear that led to the creation of republics, because they feared mauling each other in the state of nature.

In Raila’s case, whether he goes it alone or whether he forms a new coalition, he has chances. He may get it. But he needs to sort out ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka and penetrate their strongholds. Many believe that Raila is like the glue that holds the coalition he leads, Cord, together.

He is a pragmatic leader and a person who is apprehensive about making political decisions. This is what Kenyans like.

However, whether the circumstances favour him or not is a different ball game altogether. But because a day in politics is such a long time, everything is possible. Many among his allies and foes alike have dismissed his chances, saying that he is too old.

Equally, others have embraced him to go on all the way to the ballot. And because it is not possible to predict the mind of a voter, chances are that everything is possible, and politics is the game of the possible. However, what the Cord leader needs to do if he wants to go it alone depends on how he repackages his 2017 agenda. He needs to focus on the national politics and clearly bring out the failures of the Jubilee coalition. The former PM has been clear on how the Jubilee government has messed up the country, but he has not brought it out very clearly. And because of this, many have accused him of harbouring bad feeling against the government.

 

-www.the-star.co.ke

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