Cablegate: Kenya Elections: Analysis of Parliamentary


DE RUEHNR #4647/01 3381509
R 041509Z DEC 07





E.O. 12958: N/A



1. (U) SUMMARY: Nearly ten percent of outgoing Members of
Parliament (MPs) were eliminated in party nomination
exercises while a further 25 percent lost major party
nominations and took refuge with smaller parties where their
prospects for reelection are exceedingly dim. President
Kibaki's Party of National Unity (PNU) coalition is by far
the most incumbent-friendly major party. Some minor parties
are wholly owned by individuals widely alleged to be
criminals. Women will contest in nearly 60 percent of
constituencies, but make up just under ten percent of all
candidates for Parliament. We expect an increase in elected
women MPs, but still under ten percent of Parliament. Kibaki
supporters, both within and outside the PNU coalition,
account for nearly half of the 2,548 parliamentary
candidates. In many constituencies outside Kibaki's
stronghold of Central Province this means that the pro-Kibaki
vote will be split, reducing chances for a pro-Kibaki
parliamentary majority even should he win the presidential
contest. END SUMMARY.

Incumbents Take An Initial Hit, But Most Are On the Ballot
--------------------------------------------- -------------

2. (U) Of the 210 elected members of Kenya's 9th Parliament,
two have voluntarily retired (including the Assistant
Minister for Home Affairs) and 18 sought re-election but were
eliminated in the party nomination exercises, including
another Assistant Minister (Sports and Gender). A further 50
former members of parliament lost their party primaries, but
secured nomination certificates from other parties (either
smaller allied parties of the three major parties, or
outright fringe parties).

3. (U) One hundred forty former MPs (two-thirds of the total)
are running on the tickets of significant parties:

Party of National Unity (pro-Kibaki coalition):
52 ex-MPs out of 134 candidates (39 percent)

KANU (pro-Kibaki, former ruling party):
24 ex-MPs out of 90 candidates (26 percent)

FORD-People (pro-Kibaki ethnic Kisii party):
9 ex-MPs out of 107 candidates (8 percent)

NARC-Kenya (a pro-Kibaki party):
9 ex-MPs out of 58 candidates (15 percent)


Orange Democratic Movement (main opposition party):
28 ex-MPs out of 189 candidates (15 percent)

NARC (ODM affiliate):
7 ex-MPs out of 73 candidates (10 percent)


Orange Democratic Movement of Kenya (opposition):
18 ex-MPs out of 131 candidates (14 percent)

The PNU stands out as the party most friendly to ex-MPs,
befitting its establishment image. Among all the pro-Kibaki
parties, there are a total of 126 ex-MPs out of 1,212
candidates (10 percent).

Minor Parties & their Backers

4. (U) Some minor parties are significant due to their
backers. The Manzingira Greens Party of Kenya was founded by
Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai. Her party has a clear
political ideology (environmentalist) and is aligned with the
pro-Kibaki PNU. It is only fielding 49 candidates, of whom
13 are women (26 percent).

5. (U) Four notorious criminals have their own parties to run

on. Kamlesh Patni, the alleged chief organizer of the
Moi-era Goldenberg scandal, literally bought the registration
certificate of the Kenya National Democratic Alliance party
and has recruited 170 candidates to run on its ticket,
including himself. While not formally aligned with Kibaki's
PNU coalition, Patni is expected to support the President.

6. (SBU) Harun Mwau, widely believed to be a major
narco-trafficker, runs the Party of Independent Candidates of
Kenya. It is not formally affiliated with any other party
and has business interests with figures from all Kenya's
political camps. William Kabogo Gitau, an ex-MP and another
widely-alleged drug dealer and violent thug, is running for
parliament on the ticket of the obscure Sisi Kwa Sisi Party
of Kenya, which is pro-Kibaki.

7. (SBU) Ndura Waruinge (AKA "Noriega") is the founder of the
Mungiki, Kenya's largest criminal organization (see ref B).
He is challenging opposition leader Raila Odinga in his
Nairobi parliamentary constituency of Langata. Waruinge
claims to have left the Mungiki, but PolCouns has yet to meet
an informed Kenyan who believes this. The usual punishment
for defection from the Mungiki is death. Waruinge openly
employs political thugs who cultivate the image of Mungiki
members. Waruinge's United Democratic Party of Kenya is not
affiliated with the President's PNU coalition, but supports

Women Candidates

8. (U) A total of 248 women parliamentary candidates will
contest the election. Higher figures produced by civil
society organizations are erroneous. This amounts to about
ten percent of all candidates contesting. Women candidates
are running in 124 constituencies (59 percent of all
constituencies). Among the major parties, the Orange
Democratic Movement of Kenya (Kalonzo Musyoka) has the
highest share of women candidates (11 percent), while the
Orange Democratic Movement (Raila Odinga) has the lowest (5
percent). Kibaki's Party of National Unity registers 8
percent women candidates. In the last parliament, there were
nine elected women MPs (in addition to nominated women MPs).
We expect this election to produce a greater number of women
MPs, but still under ten percent of the total.

Distribution of Candidates by Party

9. (U) There are a total of 2,548 candidates for Parliament,
an average of about 12 candidates per constituency or 23
candidates per party (108 parties are contesting
parliamentary seats). A constituency in Nyanza Province is
being contested by 33 candidates, the record for this
election. Three constituencies, including President Kibaki's
Othaya constituency, have only two candidates. The most
significant parties are as follows, with some description of
their regional representation:

Orange Democratic Movement (opposition):
190 out of 210 constituencies (90 percent)
All regions of the country, but only partial coverage in
Central Province (Kibaki stronghold) and southern districts
of Eastern Province (Musyoka stronghold).

NARC (an Orange Democratic Movement affiliate):
73 out of 210 constituencies (35 percent)
Throughout the country, except for Central Province and
Northeastern Province.

Number of constituencies contested by pro-Odinga candidates:

Number of constituencies where pro-Odinga candidates compete
against one another: 72
About ten percent of all candidates (263 total) are running
on pro-Odinga tickets.


Party of National Unity (pro-Kibaki coalition):
135 out of 210 constituencies (64 percent)
All areas of the country except Nyanza Province.

Kenya African National Union (pro-Kibaki):
90 out of 210 constituencies (43 percent)
KANU often calls itself Kenya's only truly national party,
yet it can only field candidates in less than half of all

Other pro-Kibaki parties: 987 candidates

Number of constituencies contested by pro-Kibaki candidates:
nearly all

Number of constituencies where pro-Kibaki candidates compete
against one another: nearly all.

Nearly half of all candidates are running on pro-Kibaki
tickets, which means that in nearly every constituency in the
country pro-Kibaki candidates are running against one
another, splitting the pro-Kibaki vote. This does not hurt
the president in his strongholds, where any potential winner
will enter the pro-Kibaki camp in parliament. However, in
mixed areas like Coast, Western and Rift Valley provinces,
multiple pro-Kibaki candidates improves the chances of
opposition candidates since only a plurality of the vote is
required to win.


Orange Democratic Movement of Kenya (opposition):
131 out of 210 constituencies (62 percent)
Southern districts of Eastern province, Coast, Northeastern
and Rift Valley provinces.

Labour Party of Kenya (ODM-K affiliate party):
16 out of 210 constituencies (7 percent)
Western province, parts of Coast Province and southern
districts of Eastern province.

All pro-Musyoka parties:
147 candidates in 131 constituencies out of 210
constituencies (62 percent)

The Labour Party is competing against its ODM-K ally in all
16 of its parliamentary races. The de facto head of the
Labour Party, Kalonzo Musyoka's ODM-K running mate, is
running on an ODM-K, not a Labour party, ticket.

Party Symbols

10. (U) Party symbols as printed on ballots are an essential
issue to older rural voters in Kenya, especially women in
remote regions that have not benefited from the country's
generally high literacy rate. The biggest party symbol
controversy concerns the two rival opposition parties, the
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and the Orange Democratic
Movement of Kenya (ODM-K). ODM's symbol is an orange,
naturally enough. ODM-K's symbol is 1 1/2 oranges, which
causes confusion. ODM and ODM-K rallies always include
exhortations to vote for the correct number of oranges.

11. (U) With 108 parties contesting at the parliamentary
level, a wide variety of symbols are in play. Microparties
in Kenya are often referred to as "briefcase parties." The
National Republican Party of Kenya, with a sole parliamentary
candidate, befittingly has a briefcase as its party symbol.
Intriguingly, the Jubilee People's Party of Kenya (two
candidates) has chosen handcuffs as its party symbol.

© Scoop Media

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