Businessman and politician Jimmy Wanjigi has joined the growing list of 2022 presidential candidates who are seeking to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta. He has joined the likes of Deputy President William Ruto, ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi, Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, KANU chairman Gideon Moi, musician Rueben Kigame and ODM leader Raila Odinga among others, who have declared their bids.
However, the huge list still gives advantage to Deputy President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga as those likely to succeed the president since the two enjoy huge support from their backyards and have been backed by several opinion polls. Their journey to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta is however not a walk in the park if all those who have declared their candidacy will battle it to the ballot. Good enough to note is the fact that if the next president will be either Ruto or Raila, then each need at least 90% of Mt Kenya votes to be sure of winning in the first round.
The entry of business mogul Jimmy Wanjigi to the race is detrimental to Raila while National Assembly speaker Justin Muturi's entry serves DP Ruto with a blow. Speaker Muturi might be a state project to scuttle and divide the vore-rich Central region that has been key in shaping national leadership over time. Most probably, the 'Deep State' does not prefer a Ruto presidency and will use Muturi to take at least 15% of the total votes. This already serves as a blow to the top two candidates and will certainly force a run off.
On the other hand, Wanjigi seems to have entered into an in-house wrestling for the ODM ticket with party leader Raila Odinga which will of course be unsuccessful. This will serve as a perfect exit strategy for Wanjigi to either form a new party or join an already formed small party and run for office. Of course his resources are something worth watching since he can be able to pull up to 7% of the region to his side.
This means at least 20% of the Mt Kenya votes will be off the Ruto or Raila basket, making it hard for either of the two to clinch the presidency in the first round. If the region again produces another candidate, or a running mate to one of the two top candidates, the best will receive at most 40%. This will force the country to go for elections in the second round.
The One Kenya Alliance is capable of garnering up to 30% of the total votes that will be cast in 2022 if they stick together. Raila and Ruto will share 60%, leaving the other candidates with 10%. This means no candidate will be able to achieve 50% as required under law to be declared a winner.
If DP Ruto gets 60% of the Mt Kenya votes, he needs at least 100% Rift Valley votes, 10% Nyanza votes, 50% Coast votes, 50% Western Kenya votes, 40% Ukambani votes and 80% North Eastern votes to attain the 50% and 1 vote threshold. This is not easy for him to achieve since One Kenya Alliance will score up to 80% in Ukambani, 75% in Western Kenya and 5% in Nyanza. The rest will be shared among Ruto and Raila.
Many aspirants will force the country to a second round of presidential elections and that might end up being surprising to top candidates. But there is still time to strategize and anything might happen and change the political landscape significantly.
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