Young Voters Will Decide Who To Pick As President Once Running-Mates Are Announced

In Kenya’s heavily ethnic driven politics the choice of running-mate automatically attracts the support of the tribe to which they belongs

By The Weekly Vision Online

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission( IEBC) is grappling with a general election that they believe faces widespread voter apathy, especially by the youth largely due to the harsh economic times and failed electoral promises by politicians since 2013- 2017. According to recent opinion polls, at least 800,000 young voters have not decided whom to vote for as president in the August 9 election now only 5 months away.

The undecided voters are said to be waiting for the main presidential aspirants to name their running-mates before deciding whom to support. The issue of presidential running-mates is a major thorn in the flesh for all across the political divide.

In Kenya’s heavily ethnic driven politics the choice of running-mate automatically attracts the support of the tribe to which he or she belongs. And in direct converse support could shift if a particular community angling for running-mate fails to get it! Those undecided form a critical block of voters mainly youth below 35 who form 80 per cent of the electorate in East Africa’s largest economy. Many have either refused to register or say who they prefer to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.

In what is now shaping to be a tight 2 horse race, 800,000 votes and nearly a million in the diaspora could well decide who Kenya’s 5th president will be. IEBC mass registration drive has fallen far short of its target only managing a paltry 1 million out of the envisaged 6 million first time voters. But IEBC is hopeful that more will enrol at the constituency level where the exercise is ongoing but there are further fears of a low voter turnout due to apathy.

Some people claim that voters from the populous Mount Kenya region may opt to stay away from the polling booths in August, for the first time in decades, they have no serious presidential candidate.    

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