Thursday, January 19, 2012

Public support for ICC trials waning - new poll

Ipsos-Synovate Managing Director Maggie Ireri during the release of the poll findings in Nairobi on January 19, 2012. PHOTO/STEPHEN MUDIARI

Ipsos-Synovate Managing Director Maggie Ireri during the release of the poll findings in Nairobi on January 19, 2012. PHOTO/STEPHEN MUDIARI 

By DAVE OPIYO

Public support for the International Criminal Court trial of six Kenyans suspected to have played the biggest roles in the 2007 - 2008 post-election violence is thinning out, according to a new opinion poll.

The waning support comes just days before the ICC rules on whether to confirm or drop charges against the Kenyan suspects.

The opinion poll, released by Ipsos-Synovate on Thursday, reveals that confirmation of withdrawal of the charges at the ICC will change the political landscape ahead of the general elections and may have an impact on the ratings of presidential aspirants.

“As politicians position themselves, the varying support levels for the ICC Trials by region does point to potential regional political re-alignments,” said the polling firm's Managing Director Ms Maggie Ireri.

Two of the six suspects, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret MP William Ruto, have declared to pursue their presidential ambition in the general election regardless of the ruling to be made by ICC.

In the latest poll, support for leading presidential candidates has dipped marginally over the last three months.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga still remains the man to beat if elections were called today, though his support has gone down by two per cent.

In October last year, 34 per cent of Kenyans would have voted for him but this has since reduced to 32 per cent in December last year.

Deputy Prime minister Uhuru Kenyatta would emerge second with 22 per cent of the votes cast. In October last year, he garnered 24 percent of the votes.

Eldoret North MP William Ruto would come a distant third with 10 per cent.

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka would follow in fourth position with 9 percent.

Other presidential hopefuls included in the poll were Gichugu MP Martha Karua (4 per cent) and Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa (2 per cent).

Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth and former Rarieda MP Raphael Tuju would each garner one percent of the votes cast.

A total of 2000 people were interviewed in the survey conducted between December 12 and 19 last year.

According to Ms Ireri, a good number of Kenyans – 17 percent – are undecided on whom to vote for.

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