By Faridah N Kulumba
Africa-Press – Kenya. In less than two months remaining to Kenya’s 2022 General Election, a new poll established Kenya Deputy President William Ruto as the most preferred presidential candidate against the head of political alliance Azimio la Umoja (aspiration to unite) Raila Odinga.
On 9th August this year, Kenyans will vote for their fifth president. The hot race is between the number two in power D P Ruto and the leader of the opposition Raila who was endorsed by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee Party.
AS of 6th June 2022, only four candidates and their running mates had been cleared. The candidates include Raila Odinga former Prime Minister of Kenya and leader of Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), William Ruto current Deputy President of Kenya and leader of United Democratic Alliance, David Waihiga Mwaure, leader of Agano Party and George Wajackoyah, leader of Roots Party of Kenya. On 2nd May 2022, a list of 47 independent candidates was submitted to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). But On 13 May, the IEBC released a list of 38 contenders who had been accepted.
The new research which was carried out last weekend by the Intel Research Solutions (IRS), indicated that Kenya’s number two in command Ruto, and his running mate Rigathi Gachagua enjoy national support of 51.2 percent. On the other hand, the pollster thor arch-rival leader of the Orange Democratic Movement Raila’s national popularity stood at 42.5 percent.
How the research was conducted
The Intel Research Solutions (IRS) company carried out the research on 17,127 respondents and indicated the findings had a +/-2 margin error. A total of 3.8 of the respondents said they were yet to decide on who they will vote for in the highly anticipated polls.
Infotrak research controversy
At the beginning of this month, Infotrak released research that showed Raila commands a lead in coming Kenya’s State House race. The poll released by Infotrak on Wednesday, June 8, indicated Raila had the support of 42 percent of Kenyans nationally against Ruto’s 38 percent.
Ruto dismissed the result
DP Ruto dismissed the opinion poll released by Infotrak that suggested that Raila was in the lead, saying they are part of a scheme to rig the August elections. Ruto added that Raila’s alliance has tried all means to win the election. All that is left is the use of fake opinion polls and the spread of propaganda that they shall steal his votes which will be impossible.
The hustler and the project of the system
In October 2021, Kenyan Deputy President Ruto said the 2022 presidential race was framed between him as the Hustler of the Nation, and the ‘project of the system’ referring to the opposition leader of ODM Raila as the government project. Ruto expressed displeasure at President Kenyatta’s decision to back Raila for the presidency instead of him, vowing to defeat Raila just like he was defeated by Jubilee in the last two general elections.
No permanent friend no permanent enemy in politics
President Uhuru’s relationship with his deputy and his successor Ruto turned sour when Jubilee entered a pact with opposition leader Raila. On 19 March 2018, President Uhuru and Raila shook hands in a symbolic gesture that ended months of tensions following the disputed election in 2017 that gave Uhuru a second term. Popularized as the “handshake,” the agreement caused major rifts within the ruling party since it ushered in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
Running mates and poll dropping
DP Ruto and Raila named their running mates on May 15 and May 16, respectively. According to a Trends & Insights for Africa (Tifa) poll conducted on May 17. DP Ruto’s ratings dropped to 35 percent from 38 percent in November last year and 39 percent in April this year.