Why voter turnout is a key determinant for Raila, Uhuru contest

Why voter turnout is a key determinant for Raila, Uhuru contest

NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga

National Super Alliance (NASA) supporters have been told by their leaders to not only turn up in large numbers at their rallies but also replicate their enthusiasm during the August General election.

The party was irked by the low voter turnout that partly contributed to the defeat of its predecessor, the Coalition for Reform and Democracy.

NASA leaders, Presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka, were given a nod to run for the presidency.

They maintained that while crowds in rallies are important, it would also be key that their supporters turn up in large numbers to vote for their candidate in the August polls.

“We love crowds of people but victory for NASA will depend on whether you vote,” NASA co-principal and chief campaigner Musalia Mudavadi told a gathering at Jacaranda grounds in Nairobi.

“Victory is determined by the number of those who actually vote,” he continued.

Musalia told their NASA supporters who attended the rally that the coalition needed to win decisively in the August polls.

In 2013, Mr Mudavadi – contesting under the Amani Coalition, that comprises New ford Kenya, Kanu and UDF – came a distant third in a race fought fiercely between ODM’s Raila Odinga and TNA candidate Uhuru Kenyatta, now president.

However, the political landscape seems to have changed as Mr Odinga of ODM, Mr Mudavadi, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka of Wiper, Mr Moses Wetang’ula of Ford Kenya and Mr Isaac Ruto of Chama Cha Mashinani, have come together to form NASA.

But this alliance, same as President Kenyatta’s revamped Jubilee Party, will rely on the same voting blocs as in 2013.

At Jacaranda grounds, the opposition chiefs made a public declaration “to wake up early on August 8, 2017 to vote to ensure Raila Amolo Odinga becomes the next president of Kenya.”

Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto was exuding confidence, telling the crowd that Jubilee’s mantra of tyranny of numbers has been dissolved.

“For four years, they claimed they had tyranny of numbers. Now wait and see how Kenyans will teach them what tyranny of numbers is,” said the governor who was elected on a URP ticket, part of the Jubilee alliance, in 2013 but has since fallen out with the ruling coalition.

But President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is the Jubilee presidential candidate, told the opposition today on his return from abroad to prepare for another humiliating defeat in the August polls.

Uhuru, accompanied by his deputy, William Ruto and Jubilee Party gubernatorial nominee Mike Sonko, told residents of Eastlands to give him another chance to complete the projects started by his Jubilee administration.

“Just as you gave us a chance to govern you in 2013 and we have done so for the last four years and a half, we are here to give another term to complete our work,” Uhuru told Jubilee supporters who had lined along Outering and Jogoo Road to receive him.

Uhuru’s team had a packed meet-the-people tour of the city. The President made stopovers as he made a passionate appeal to city residents to turn up and vote for him in a contest which has been as billed as a two-horse-race with NASA candidate Raila Odinga.

The President and his team made stopovers at the Pipeline bus stage where he addressed his supporters before proceeding to Madaraka, through the Jogoo/Outering Road junction, before making his way to City Stadium.

He asked Nairobi residents to vote him back to office alongside his party candidates so that together, they push the development agenda of the Jubilee government.

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