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Jubilee Party and Nasa.

These are the two main antagonists for the presidency of the Republic of Kenya for 2017 elections.

The elections will be held shortly on August 8th and, as usual on such occasions, in the country there is great excitement looking for that day, both among candidates and among the population, after a campaign started on May 28th and closed on August 5th. So two days of silence before the vote.

The Jubilee Alliance Party was founded in 2016 on what was the Jubilee Coalition, a coalition born four years earlier in 2012, and which included these two parties: The National Alliance and United Republican Party. Uhuru Kenyatta was the flagbearer of the first while the second was flagbeared by William Ruto. These have then joined other 9 parties to form the Jubilee Alliance Party, which is so formed by 11 parties:

    • United Republican Party
    • Party of National Unity
    • United Democratic Forum
    • Ford People
    • Republican Congress
    • Grand National Union
    • Tip Tip
    • Unity Party of Kenya
    • New Ford Kenya
    • Alliance Party of Kenya
    • The National Alliance

But this is a party, not a coalition. The decision to merge into one party was a multilateral decision.

The Jubilee Party is the party of President-in-Office, Uhuru Kenyatta, while the deputy president candidate is William Ruto, Kenyatta’s ally since many years. The name of their electoral campaign around the country is UhuRuto 2017. Kenyatta to run for re-election has by his side the strength from the results obtained in these 4 years of presidency.

His manifesto obviously reminds voters of what has been done for the country over the last 4 years and what they are going to do in the next 5 years. It is a simple, concise manifesto that addresses three main macro themes, three pillars on which it bases his policy: transforming lives, transforming society, transforming the nation. Within these three pillars there are all the important areas of intervention for the Jubilee Party: from health to the fight against corruption [1], from education to tourism to country security, also problems such as the lack of decent housing and food and drinking water for the population.

From the party website you can download the manifesto.

The Nasa (National Super Alliance) on the other hand, is the coalition supporting the other most presidential candidate: Raila Odinga.

This coalition has 5 parties:

    • Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) of Raila Odinga,
    • Wiper Democratic Movement-Kenya (WDM-K) of Kalonzo Musyoka (deputy president candidate),
    • Amani National Congress (ANC) of Musalia Mudavadi,
    • Forum for the Restoration of Democracy-Kenya (FORD-K) of Moses Wetangula, and
    • Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) of Isaac Ruto.

Their website is very appealing, unlike the one of Jubilee Party which is very messy, but judgments are reversed by examining their manifestos: the simple, concise and with many photos of that of Jubilee Party is contrasted with that of the Nasa (here is their manifesto), which I found much less accurate and with very rare data, but only with allegations of bankruptcy (as it is natural) to the government in charge, and proposals for improvement without indicating how and with what resources they will bring those improvements.

For the Nasa, the pillars that need to be addressed are six: Nation building, State building, Transforming governance, Realizing social and economic rights, creating jobs, eradicating poverty, and finally Regional and international Cooperation.

Specifically, the areas of intervention are the same as those of the Jubilee Party, but those of the Nasa emphasize the Constitution and the need to implement it, thus letting it be understood that the failings and failures of the government in office are attributed to the fact that they do not respect the existing Constitution.

The Nasa proposes itself as the Coalition of the Constitution.

There are also six other minor candidates to the presidency of the Republic of Kenya, bringing the number of candidates to eight, while five more were rejected because they did not meet the required requirements. In addition to Kenyatta and Odinga we have:

    • Mohamed Abduba Dida, candidate for The Alliance for Real Change (ARK),
    • John Ekuru Longoggy Akuot, candidate for Thirdway Alliance Kenya (TAK),
    • Shakhalaga Khwa Jirongo, candidate for United Democratic Party (UDP),
    • Japhet Kavinga Kaluyu, independent candidate,
    • Michael Wainaina Mwaura, independent candidate,
    • Joseph William Nthiga Nyagah, independent candidate. [2]

Another subject are the presidential debates that, broadcast on TV, help the population to better understand the candidate’s political programs. At the July 24th debate, that you can see here,

 

only Odinga was present, and he could talk about his policies for an hour and a half, but he also had to answer bitter questions. In the end he said he wanted to confront Kenyatta. Reactions to the non-presence of the president have been varied, and many have considered his behavior a lack of respect for the population, but Uhuru Kenyatta defended by stating that in his opinion the debate was a sham and that it would be a show, not a debate. Here you can find two reports on the subject with his statements:

 

 

On the same day, before the confrontation between Kenyatta and Odinga, there was another debate between the other six minor candidates, but not all of theme attended it.

An important issue to be mentioned is the security issue linked to the transparency of the elections: on Sunday, July 30, the dead body of Christopher Msando, the IEBC (Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission) ICT Manager have been found. Msando had disappeared a few days earlier and the investigations revealed he was tortured and then strangled to death [3]. This has attracted the attention of US and UK embassies, and now there are doubts about the credibility of the elections that may not be transparent.

The day of the elections is almost here, and hopefully they first will be peaceful elections, but also honest and transparent. We can wish Kenya that after the count of the votes the winner will be who keep the promises made during the electoral campaign.


[1] The Corruption Perceptions Index (Cpi) measures the perception of corruption in a given country per year on risk operators and analysts. The value ranges from 0 (ubiquitous corruption) to 100 (no corruption). In 2016, Kenya has a value of 26 and it is positioned 145th out of 176 countries, while UK is at 10th place with a value of 81. Transparency International, https://www.transparency.org/news/feature/corruption_perceptions_index_2016#table.

[2] More info on Africanews, http://www.africanews.com/2017/08/02/meet-the-eight-candidates-for-kenya-s-2017-presidential-elections/.

[3] http://nairobinews.nation.co.ke/news/revealed-chris-msando-met-death/.

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