Bloomberg News

Kenya’s Odinga Is Preferred Presidential Candidate, Ipsos Says

May 01, 2012

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga is the most preferred presidential candidate ahead of elections scheduled to take place by March, Ipsos-Synovate Ltd. said.

An opinion poll conducted between April 6 and April 17 found that 34 percent of Kenyans would vote for Odinga, the research company said in an e-mailed statement today from Nairobi, the capital. Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta has 22 percent support, deputy President Kalonzo Musyoka 9 percent, and deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi 5 percent, it said.

Odinga became prime minister in 2008 after signing a power- sharing accord with incumbent President Mwai Kibaki to end two months of ethnic fighting following a disputed presidential election. An estimated 1,500 people died in the violence and another 300,000 were forced to flee their homes.

Kenyatta and three other Kenyans, including former Higher Education Minister William Ruto, have been ordered to stand trial at The Hague-based International Criminal Court for allegedly directing the clashes, an accusation which all of the men deny. Ruto polled 8 percent support in the Ipsos-Synovate survey.

Should their trial prevent Kenyatta and Ruto from competing in the election, Odinga’s closest rival would be Musyoka, who would garner 19 percent of the vote, it said. A run-off vote between Odinga and Kenyatta would see each receive 44 percent, with 12 percent of voters undecided, Ipsos-Synovate said.

Kenya’s new constitution stipulates that candidates are declared president after receiving more than half of all votes cast. Kibaki, who is currently serving a second term, is barred by the constitution from seek a third.

The Ipsos-Synovate poll sampled 2,000 respondents and has a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Richardson in Nairobi at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.


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