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January 21, 2019

EXPERT COMMENT: Opinion poll may not hold true in three years

Deputy President William Ruto. /FILE
Deputy President William Ruto. /FILE

The good thing is that this is an opinion poll and while it might hold water now, it does not necessary mean that Deputy President William Ruto will succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta. It's about three years to the next general election.

Nonetheless, the poll could be expressing the feeling of the majority of Kenyans. If the poll was scientific, it may bolster Ruto's bid and encourage his support base even more. They will feel enthused about his prospects.

Such polls may either deter those yearning or planing to run for State House but have not yet make a declaration. It might help those intending to run by providing impetus to work harder, knowing Ruto is ow the man to beat in 2022.

On Uhuru having a big say on his successor, going by history and past presidents trying to help candidates, this may be tricky. In 2002 President Daniel Moi fronted Uhuru Kenyatta but it worked against Kenyatta who was labelled as Moi's 'project' and Kenyans hate projects.

So if Uhuru wants to be a thorn in Ruto's flesh, he should then come out and say Ruto is his candidate. The thing is, this could make other candidates unite and work against the regime. That would be detrimental to Ruto.

As Uhuru will be retiring from office, though probably not from politics, he doesn't want the next administration to give him sleepless nights. Look at Moi. Because he fronted Uhuru, the new regime 'crowed' so much about him. So if Uhuru Kenyatta wants to strongly back Ruto and Ruto fails to win, he will not get the respect and the peace that he deserves as the former head of state.

Kenya is not like the United States where it is known that a president of a particular party automatically supports the presidential candidate of that party's ticket. So if Uhuru at all wants DP Ruto to succeed him, it would proper for him to do what former President Mwai Kibaki did. While Kibaki choreographed the state machinery to support Uhuru Kenyatta, he did not publicly and personally go out there to campaign for him.

The governance expert analyst spoke to the Star

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