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SLUG: 2-297273 Kenya/Politics (L)









INTRO: A public opinion poll released Monday in Kenya indicates the opposition National Rainbow Coalition, known as NARC, will win the December 27th general elections. As Josiah Obat reports from Nairobi, the poll says Uhuru Kenyatta, the presidential candidate of the ruling KANU party, is trailing opposition candidate Mwai Kibaki.

TEXT: The director of Strategic Public Relations and Research Limited, Peter Oriare, said it appears that a great majority of Kenyans have already decided which candidates and parties they are going to vote for.


/// OPT /// An overwhelming majority of the respondents have already decided on the political parties of their choice to vote for in the next general elections. Sixty-eight-point-two percent of those interviewed will vote for NARC, 21-point-seven percent Kanu, eight-point-one percent Ford People and one-point-four percent S-D-P (Social Democratic Party). /// END OPT /// Sixty-eight-point-two percent of those interviewed across the republic will vote for NARC presidential candidate Mwai Kibaki, with 21-point-four percent voting for KANU's Uhuru Kenyatta, /// OPT /// and another eight-point-two percent voting for Ford People's Simeon Nyachae, and one-pint-five (percent) voting for S-D-P's presidential candidate, James Orengo. /// END OPT ///

/// END ACT ///

According to the constitution, a winning presidential candidate must get 25 percent of the votes in at least five of the eight provinces. If that does not happen, the first and second place candidates go to a run-off election. Mr. Oriare says the findings show that only one candidate, the National Rainbow Coalition's Mwai Kibaki will meet this requirement.


You will notice that Kibake gets the mandatory 25 percent in all the provinces. Uhuru Kenyatta gets the mandatory 25 percent in only three provinces, /// OPT /// namely Rift valley 31-point-one percent, north eastern 42-point-six percent and central province 30-point-four percent. Nyachae gets the mandatory 25 percent only in one province -- that is in Nyanza province, with 29-point-three percent. James Orengo does not get 25 percent in any province, according to the survey which we did. /// END OPT ///

/// END ACT ///

The opinion poll, which was commissioned by the U-S advocacy group, the International Republican Institute, drew a sample of three-thousand respondents in various parts of Kenya. It was conducted between November 17th and 20th.

/// OPT /// The poll was conducted before the nomination of candidates by various political parties. It was also conducted before a road accident that has left the leading opposition candidate, Mwai Kibaki, hospitalized in London.

Mr. Oriare says these two events may influence the outcome of the poll, but not to a significant degree. He says most Kenyans are optimistic that the election will give them the chance to shape the destiny of the country, and have already made up their minds on how to vote. /// END OPT ///

The poll also showed that Kenyans have confidence in the Electoral Commission, the body conducting the election.

Incumbent President Daniel arap Moi is constitutionally barred from seeking re-election. (Signed)


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