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Cablegate: Kenya Elections Countdown 2: 37 Days Away

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R 210407Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
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RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM 5590
RUEHDJ/AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI 4928
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2398
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 1669
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 2476
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RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
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UNCLAS NAIROBI 004512

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KDEM PGOV PREL KE
SUBJECT: KENYA ELECTIONS COUNTDOWN 2: 37 DAYS AWAY

REF: NAIROBI 4402 AND PREVIOUS

1. SUMMARY: Nine presidential candidates will contest the 27
December election. The ECK plans to release the final,
approved list of parliamentary candidates on 23 November.
The final voter register indicates that the top five ethnic
voting blocs are Kikuyu/Meru/Embu (27 pct), Kalenjin (13
pct), Luhya (11 pct), Luo (10 pct), and Kamba (9 pct). One of
the three latest opinion polls shows Kibaki ahead, while the
other two continue to show Odinga in first place. END
SUMMARY.

Nine Presidential Candidates to Contest the Elections
--------------------------------------------- --------

2. The Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) received official
party nominations for president on 14 and 15 November. The
final list of nine presidential candidates consists of: Mwai
Kibaki (PNU), Raila Odinga, (ODM), Kalonzo Musyoka (ODM-K),
Kenneth Matiba (a major presidential candidate from the first
multiparty election in 1992, unexpectedly came out of
retirement, Saba Saba Asili party), Bishop Pius Muiru (Kenya
Peoples' Party), David Waweru Ng'ethe (Chama Cha Umma), Nixon
Jeremiah Kukubo (Republican Party of Kenya), Nazlin Omar
(Workers Congress Party) and Joseph Ngacha Karani (Kenya
Patriotic Trust). Kenya's constitution requires any
candidate for president to also be an elected member of
parliament, so each of these candidates must win a
parliamentary seat as well as a plurality of the national
vote for president and at least 25 percent of the
presidential vote in five of the eight provinces.

Timeline
--------

3. 23 November: ECK releases candidates list for Parliament &
President.
25 November: Beginning of official campaign period.
24 December: End of Official campaign period.
27 December: Election Day.

Final Voter Register Published by ECK
-------------------------------------

4. The final voter register indicates 14.4 million voters, 53
percent male. By ethnicity, we count voters in
constituencies dominated by Kikuyu/Meru/Embu, 27 percent;
Kalenjin, 13 percent; Luhya, 11 percent; Luo, 10 percent;
Kamba, 9 percent; Kisii/Kuria: 5 percent, Mijikenda: 5
percent, Maasai/Samburu: 3 percent, Somali: 2 percent, Borana
(Oromo): 1 percent, Taita/Taveta: 1 percent. Twelve percent
of voters inhabit "mixed constituencies" where no one group
clearly predominates.

5. On a provincial basis, the figures are: Rift Valley: 23.5
percent, Eastern: 16.5 percent, Central: 15.2 percent,
Nyanza: 14.2 percent, Western: 11.4 percent, Nairobi: 8.9
percent, Coast: 8.2 percent, and Northeastern: 2.2 percent.

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

6. These polls were taken just prior to the 16 November party
nomination exercises.
Consumer Insight (Reg. Voters):
Kibaki 41.4 pct, Odinga 40.7 pct, Musyoka 14.7 pct.
Infotrak Harris (Population):
Odinga: 47.3 pct, Kibaki 37 pct, Musyoka, 13.7 pct.
Strategic Research (Reg. Voters):
Odinga 49 pct, Kibaki 38 pct, Musyoka 12 pct.

RANNEBERGER

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