Kenyan presidential favourite, opponent Raila Amolo Odinga is biding his time. Facing him, Vice-President William Ruto hopes to thwart the predictions.
"I will accept the result of the election, whatever it is." Last March, the vice-president of Kenya, William Ruto, showed that the presidential election, which will take place this Tuesday, August 9, would be more than uncertain. First of all, because the incumbent president, Uhuru Kenyatta, did not support his number 2 as he should have initially.
“The person to whom I will hand over power, and you all know him, and you mentioned his name, will inherit an economy of 13 trillion shillings (more than 000 billion dollars, editor's note). I can't take the risk of handing over to someone who won't take care of this economy, and I say it here without fear. I'm going to hand over to this person, the one you all know,” Kenyatta explained in an interview.
What announce an exciting election. William Ruto, a former ally of dictator Daniel arap Moi, is at the head of a hybrid coalition, which sweeps as much to the right as to the left. Facing him, Raila Amolo Odinga therefore enjoys the support of the current Head of State. And if the election will fascinate the media, it is not sure that it will be the same among voters: only 12% of young Kenyans who have reached voting age between 2017 and 2022 have registered on the electoral lists.
Raila Odinga remains a real phenomenon, however: after three failures in the last three Kenyan presidential elections - in 2007, 2013 and 2017 - it would be an event to see him take the reins of the country thanks to the alliance of the carp and the rabbit. The story would be beautiful: since his passage in the prisons of Daniel Arap Moi until the presidency, there is a gap. Especially since "RAO" has long contested the victory of the outgoing president, who supports him today.
A possible second round?
But Kenyatta revived, knowingly, his opponent who was on the verge of asphyxiation. All against a backdrop of war with its vice-president William Ruto. The latter was to be the legitimate successor of Kenyatta, but the estrangement got the better of the alliance between the two men. Ruto now criticizes Kenyatta for not having been able to lead Kenya correctly. It targets the most modest populations and does not hesitate to practice populism to stand out.
If a lot of money was spent during this campaign, it did not raise the level of the debates. "RAO" and Ruto chained the accusations of corruption. They avoided crossing paths and having to talk too much about politics in the noble sense of the term. The first even refused to debate on television against the second.
Observers are now focused on the vote: on the side of Nyanza, Odinga should be full. On the Rift side, Ruto can count on his electoral base. The other regions are more uncertain, and abstention should blur the estimates a little more.
Another unknown: the post-election period. Post-election violence is feared by observers, who wonder if the loser will accept the verdict of the polls. Finally, if other candidates come out on top, then a second round will be needed.