Research Briefing | Aug 5, 2022

In Kenya the two-horse presidential race begins

In Kenya the two-horse presidential race beginsThere are five days to go until Kenya’s high-stakes elections on August 9. All eyes are on the presidential vote, which will essentially be a tight two-horse race between veteran opposition figure Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto. The likelihood of a run-off is low. This Research Briefing explores these candidates’ prospects of winning the top job and assesses the tense election environment. Along with a new president, Kenyans will vote for members of the National Assembly and Senate, as well as local county governors and members of the 47 county assemblies. Tough economic conditions have fuelled voter apathy, as citizens consider politicians’ promises empty. Economic policy will play a larger role than before in voter decision-making, but identity remains key. There is a high risk of sporadic election-related violence, particularly along ethnic lines. However, it is not expected to be as devastating as in 2007.

What you will learn:

  • Our most likely scenario is that the 77-year-old Mr Odinga will clinch a victory.
  • We consider it less likely but possible for the 55-year-old Mr Ruto to secure victory due to a larger-than-expected youth turnout.
  • Our least likely scenario is that one of the lesser-known candidates wins.

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