How Raila can win in first round of voting
Posted Saturday, May 5 2012 at 19:52
- Tight corner: The pollsters are saying that if the presidential election is not decided in round one, a run-off could bring down the curtains on the PM’s presidential bid
Good people, the stakes have never been higher in a presidential poll. What are pollsters telling Prime Minister Raila Odinga?
Simple: he will have to pull all the stops out, in an out-and-out, everything-or-nothing, to run for outright victory in round one of the presidential ballot.
The pollsters are saying that if the presidential election is not decided in round one, a run-off could bring down the curtains on the PM’s presidential bid. But why would that be? First because, I believe, a tight race in round one will get tighter in the second round of balloting.
Second, I believe, the undecided in round one will have to make up their minds come the run-off. There is no knowing which way they will tip the scales.
Third – and most ominously – the PM’s legion of enemies will be waiting to use the run-off to consign him to the political graveyard.
The PM is a couple of years shy of his 70th birthday. If he does not become the next tenant at State House, he will go down in history as a hero who reigned but never ruled.
So, how can he avoid a run-off or, to put it another way, how can he beat his myriad opponents in round one?
The first line of attack is to find a running mate who is politically formidable yet amiable, has a national stature and appeal and has the wherewithal to mount a national campaign.
In other words, Mr Odinga will be choosing a running mate who Kenyans will easily identify with.
Second, the PM must identify popular and visionary candidates for the 47 governors’ seats.
Governors will be the people from among whom Kenyans will be choosing their presidents in future.
It is this that must guide the PM in his search and support for candidates for these positions.
But Mr Odinga must not, at any one time, try to impose his choice of candidates on the people.
The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) rank and file must, through the established party machinery and free and fair elections, choose the candidates for the positions of governor.
Third, the PM must identify popular political, religious and business leaders in those areas where he has lost support and take them on board ODM.
With these leaders and other party stalwarts, the PM must cover the width and breadth of these regions time and again to change minds.
Fourth, the PM must not imagine, even for a moment, that his opponents have slammed the door firmly shut on him in any of the 47 counties.
What he must do is to aim to have at least 25 counties under lock and key.