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Cablegate: Kenya Elections Countdown 3: 29 Days Away

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R 281439Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3674
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RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM 5603
RUEHDJ/AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI 4940
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2420
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 1703
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RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
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UNCLAS NAIROBI 004601

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KDEM PGOV PREL KE
SUBJECT: KENYA ELECTIONS COUNTDOWN 3: 29 DAYS AWAY

REF: NAIROBI 4512 AND PREVIOUS

1. (U) SUMMARY: An average of 12 candidates will compete
in each of Kenya's 210 parliamentary constituencies (2,547
candidates in total). The Steadman poll, generally
considered the most credible, now shows Raila at 43.6
percent, Kibaki at 43.3 percent and Kalonzo at 11.4 percent.
So far, we are impressed by the impartiality of the police
and the judiciary as regards electoral offenses. We consider
Monday, 31 December to be the most likely inauguration date,
though Friday, 28 December is theoretically possible. END
SUMMARY.

Candidates List Published
-------------------------

2. (U) On Wednesday, 28 November, The Electoral Commission of
Kenya released the official listing of parliamentary and
civic candidates. There are 2,547 parliamentary candidates
for 210 seats (an average of 12 candidates per constituency).
We will report septel our analysis of the list, which we
forwarded to INR and AF/E.

Latest Polls
------------

3. (U) Averaging the four main polling firms' latest
candidate preference results based on distribution of
registered voters produces the following figures:

Raila: 43 percent
Kibaki: 39 percent
Kalonzo: 16 percent
Undecided/Others: 2 percent

The Steadman poll, generally considered the most credible
having accurately predicted the 2005 referendum, shows Raila
at 43.6 percent, Kibaki at 43.3 percent and Kalonzo at 11.4
percent. All these polls were conducted prior to the
mismanaged 16 November nomination exercises, which generated
a great deal of anger, resentment and disillusionment among
supporters of the two main parties. The next set of polls
may tell a different story.

Kenya Police Service Acts
-------------------------

4. (U) The Kenya Police Service detained and questioned for
over 12 hours the Assistant Minister of Water for suspected
involvement in political violence and misuse of government
resources for partisan campaigning on behalf of the
President. Nairobi's former Deputy Mayor, who is running on
a pro-Kibaki platform to represent the capital's Embakasi
constituency in Parliament is now behind bars for having
failed to appear in court for his corruption case (attempted
bribery of an anti-corruption commission official). A recent
judicial decision suspends for the duration of the campaign
period a criminal case against the main opposition candidate
running for a parliamentary seat against Vice President
Awori. So far, we are impressed by the willingness of the
police and the judiciary to enforce the law in a non-partisan
manner.

31 December is Most Likely Inauguration Date
--------------------------------------------

5. (U) Kenya's constitution stipulates that "a person elected
as President in accordance with this Constitution shall
assume office as President as soon as he is declared to be
elected." It further states that, "The President shall hold
office for a term of five years beginning from the date on
which he is sworn in as President...The President
shall...continue in office until the person elected as
President at a subsequent presidential election assumes
office." Mwai Kibaki was sworn in as President on 30
December 2002. Since the election is scheduled on Thursday,
27 December, we consider Monday, 31 December to be the most
likely inauguration date, though Saturday, 29 December is
also possible.

RANNEBERGER

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