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Cablegate: Kenya Elections: Countdown 4: 13 Days Away:

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNR #4759/01 3510339
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 170339Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3885
INFO RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 9740
RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM 5624
RUEHDJ/AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI 4959
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2452
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 1731
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 2501
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 2425
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHMFIUU/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS NAIROBI 004759

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KDEM PGOV PREL KE
SUBJECT: KENYA ELECTIONS: COUNTDOWN 4: 13 DAYS AWAY:
PARLIAMENTARY CRYSTAL BALL EDITION

REF: NAIROBI 4601 AND PREVIOUS

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The Political Section compared notes with
other well informed political observers on prominent
government and opposition MPs likely to be defeated in the
parliamentary contest. The results appear below. In total,
we expect the defeat of 136 MPs out of a total of 210 (65
percent). Some defeated MPs, including ministers, may return
as nominated rather than elected members of parliament,
should their parties opt to do so. END SUMMARY.

65 Percent Turnover Predicted in Parliament
--------------------------------------------

2. (SBU) The consensus among Nairobi political analysts is
that about 65 percent of Members of Parliament seeking
re-election will be disappointed. There is a strong
anti-incumbent mood among the electorate this year as regards
the legislature. Since 22 MPs have already dropped out (two
retirements and 20 eliminated in the primaries), we expect at
least another 114 to suffer defeat. There is no reliable
polling data available at the constituency level. However,
informed opinion has identified a number of government and
opposition heavyweights clearly headed for defeat and others
who are weak contenders, but could still pull off a victory.
Some defeated MPs, including ministers, may return as
nominated rather than elected members of parliament. Parties
are allocated a certain number of nominated seats based on
their level of representation.

Some Ministers Likely to Lose their Seats
-----------------------------------------

3. (SBU) Among those in the Kibaki camp, we count the
following luminaries (including some ministers) as clearly
headed for defeat or in serious trouble:

-- Chris Murungaru (Notorious for corruption; Murungaru will
lose to a pro-Kibaki challenger who won massively in the PNU
primary.)

-- George Saitoti (Minister of Education and notorious for
his role in the Goldenberg scandal; pro-Kibaki ethnic Kikuyu
vote is split and pro-opposition vote is coalesced behind a
U.S. based ethnic Maasai preacher. The constituency
stretches from Kikuyu-dominated exurbs of Nairobi to
Maasai-dominated rural areas.)

-- Raphael Tuju (Foreign Minister who by all accounts has
done a lot for his constituency, but is bucking the Pro-Raila
Odinga consensus of his Luo community.)

-- Mukhisa Kituyi (An effective Trade Minister, unpopular in
his constituency partly due to allegations he misappropriated
Constituency Development Funds. He is also faulted for not
supporting his ethnic Bukusu/Luhya FORD-Kenya party. He will
lose to another pro-Kibaki candidate.)

-- Morris Dzoro (Tourism Minister; his party rank and file
resent his alliance with Kibaki since the party stands for
decentralization and Kibaki stands for a strong unitary
state. He is considered by his constituents to be
inaccessible and disinterested in their welfare.)

-- Wangari Maathai (Assistant Environment Minister, Nobel
Peace Prize winner, her constituents complain she is
constantly traveling, pays scant attention to them and is
insufficiently loyal to Kibaki.)

-- John Serut (From the violence-plagued Mt. Elgon region; he
publicly warned all potential challengers that it would be
dangerous for anyone to campaign against him as his people
loved him so much they might harm his rivals. He is credibly
accused of attempted rape and organizing communal violence.)

-- Newton Kulundu (Labor Minister, nicknamed "the drunkard.")

-- Mohammed Abdi Mahamud (Minister of Regional Development,
constituents complain he has abandoned them.)

4. (SBU) Among those in the Kibaki camp whose campaigns are
in trouble, but could still win: Vice President Moody Awori
(he did not carry his constituency in the 2005 referendum,
his constituency is now solidly opposition), Gideon Moi
(former President Moi's son, notorious for corruption),
Nicholas Biwott (notorious for corruption and violence),
Joseph Munyao (Livestock Minister), and Njenga Karume
(Defense Minister, has a wealthy pro-Kibaki challenger).

Some Raila Odinga Allies Also in Trouble
----------------------------------------

5. (SBU) Among Raila Odinga supporters, we consider the
following former MPs to be headed for defeat or at serious
risk of defeat:

-- William Nyagah (A member of Raila Odinga's "Pentagon"
leadership group, he is the only prominent Kikuyu in Raila
Odinga's camp.)

-- William ole Ntimama (An elderly, anti-Kikuyu firebrand,
his constituency was previously overwhelmingly rural Maasai,
but encroachment by Nairobi exurbs have brought in many new
Kikuyu voters, to his dismay.)

-- Peter Anyang' Nyang'o ("The Professor" is a stalwart of
opposition politics, an intellectual who serves as Raila's
right-hand man, Executive Secretary of the Orange Democratic
Movement, but his constituents consider that he has neglected
them in favor of his role in national politics. He will lose
to another pro-Raila Odinga candidate.)

6. (SBU) Among those whose candidacies we consider to be in
serious trouble are Charity Ngilu (former Health Minister,
head of the NARC party, allied to Odinga's ODM), Najib Balala
(a member of the ODM "Pentagon"), Ramadhan Kajembe (many
pro-Odinga voters in this Mombasa constituency felt the party
imposed his candidacy), and Fred Gumo (notorious for
corruption, political violence and extortion in his Nairobi
constituency).

We Will Report Accuracy of Our Predictions
------------------------------------------

7. (U) Following the election, we will report the accuracy of
our predictions.
RANNEBERGER

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