Kenya’s General Elections for President and other positions will be held on Tuesday August 8th 2017. Kenyan politics is seeing the excitement and tension is building up towards that day, especially with regard to the Presidential election. The key to Kenyan politics will likely be found in the struggle between Uhuru Kenyatta vs Raila Odinga. Yet again.
One of the expected candidates is the incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta, who will be vying for a second term. Mr Kenyatta was declared the winner of the 2013 elections, after his main rival, Raila Odinga, disputed the results of those elections and filed a suit in the Supreme Court of Kenya. The Supreme Court upheld the declaration of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in as President a few weeks later.
President Kenyatta is expected to run on the recently formed Jubilee Alliance Party – a party formed out of the coalition of parties under which he vied for presidency in 2013. Mr William Ruto, the Deputy President, is expected to be his running mate once again.
Raila Odinga – The Eternal Contender
Many people believe that the 72-year-old Raila Odinga will again be running for president – for the fourth time. Mr. Odinga and his political party, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) have joined other political parties to form what they have called the National Super Alliance (NASA). ‘Nasa’ also means ‘to seize’ or ‘capture’ in Swahili, Kenya’s national language, and the opposition has declared their determination to capture the Presidency this year.
There are a number of other notable political leaders in NASA, and it is yet to be known who among them will eventually be the coalition’s presidential candidate.
The 2007 Election Violence
Mr. Kalonzo Musyoka, 63, is the leader of the Wiper Democratic Movement. He also served as Vice President from 2008 to 2013. He was a presidential candidate in the 2007 elections, and after those elections, he was appointed vice president, even as the country was engulfed in violence as the opposition disputed the election results that declared Mr, Mwai Kibaki the winner of the Presidential race.
This violence eventually led to the current President, Uhuru Kenyatta, and his Deputy, William Ruto, (the two being in opposite political camps at the time) being brought, with others, to the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity. The cases against them were eventually dropped due to lack of evidence.
Mr. Odinga, who believes he was the actual winner of the 2007 elections, was appointed Prime Minister in April 2008 in a power-sharing deal with Mwai Kibaki.
The New Kenyan NASA Alliance
Another NASA leader, Mr. Musalia Mudavadi, 56, is the leader of the Amani National Congress. He once served as Kenya’s Vice-President of Kenya for a brief two months around the time of the 2002 General Elections. He was also a presidential candidate in 2013 and he came third.
Mr. Moses Wetangula was born in September 1956, and is currently the Minority Leader in the Senate. He is also the leader of the Ford Kenya party and one of the principals, alongside Mr. Odinga and Mr. Musyoka, of the CORD coalition (Coalition for Reforms and Democracy) that took part in the 2013 elections.
There are also a few other people who have declared their interest in the presidency, such as Nairobi lawyer and former Public Prosecutor Mr. Philip Murgor of the United Democratic Movement and Dr. Ekuru Aukot, former member of the Committee of Experts on Constitution Review that worked on Kenya’s 2010 Constitution.
Kenyan Politics – Tribalism vs Ideology
Kenyan politics, to a significant extent, is based on tribal affiliations. Presidential candidates usually get major support from the areas largely inhabited by their ethnic communities. It is likely that tribal arithmetic will play a significant part in the 2107 elections, but there are also emerging voices of opposition to this approach. A number of people in their forties and younger, are declaring that supporting a candidate based on tribe does not benefit them, and they would rather vote in competent leaders from whichever tribes.
For example, there has been a strike by doctors serving in public hospitals, which resulted in their union leaders being jailed for a few days (for failing to call off the strike). The fact that the doctors come from various ethnic backgrounds and have stood together for their cause may be seen by some as an indication that the tribal mindset may be weakening among the younger generation.
As the elections near, it is expected that the opposition will continue to point out the various failings of the government as a reason to vote out the ruling party, while the ruling party will cite their own various achievements as a reason to vote them back in.
Only after NASA declares its official presidential candidate, and after the whole field of candidates is known, and as the elections near, will it be possible to make educated guesses on what the main issues will be and what the likely election outcomes are.Read more
Turkish Politics and Tayyip Erdoğan’s Reality. Todays political climate in Turkey and the clash with western perceptions. A guest post by Turkish political commentator Nauman.
As you read this, a tumultuous revolution is underway in Turkey. The country’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party is pushing propositions through parliament that would radically alter the system of government. By halting Turkey’s long-established system of collective cabinet government, the AK Party says it will stabilise and strengthen the country and streamline decision-making. But the proposed law will pool power in the hands of the president and dramatically reduce the top job’s accountability to parliament. In effect, it establishes a system of one-man rule for Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
To understand the political situation of a country needs to be aware of ground realities. The ground realities are in the case of Turkey, there are three major schools of though, the Muslim, the Nationalist, the seculars. There is another very important and powerful opposing entity present, the Kurdish. The seculars don’t want Tayyip Erdoğan and The Muslims are considering him an Islamic revolutionary leader. The Nationalist they can merge their self with any of above on the name of the Turkish nation. Turkey is state of war with their own Kurdish population. There is a new challenge for the government that is security. Turkey is facing suicide bombing and violent activities. Turkish Tourism industry is under threats because of security reasons. The Turkish economy is collapsing and the common man is not happy. The value of Turkish currency is having descent approach. Once a wise man said that “economy is the biggest religion of the world”. These all problem are not at their worst and can be treated in a good manner.
Western Perception of Turkish Politics
International and Western Media is exaggerating the situation, like always. Nowadays media is not for awareness but earnings. On 15 July 2016, a coup t was attempted in Turkey against state institutions, including, President Erdoğan. This was an attempted coup but all international media was shouting army took over and coup occurred in Turkey. It was even declared by the world’s biggest media houses as a breaking news.
It is a fact like death, Political parties always use the situation for their political benefits, Turkish national parties are no different than others in this prospect. Even the government had taken full advantage of the attempted coup. The popularity and fame of AK party and President Erdoğan were declining. The performance of the Government was questioned and there was a big chance to overcome AK party in next election. This coup attempt once again gives life to AK parties future.
Turkish Politics and Tayyip Erdoğan’s Reality
One thing is clear that there are flaws in Erdoğan’s most recent policies, especially in last two years. A couple of years before no one can deny, The progressive and improving Turkey is also because of Tayyip Erdoğan’s policies, and there is no doubt about it. The local population were having very uncertain and mix opinion because they are frightened from their past before the time of Erdoğan.
They respond to the questions about President Erdoğan, he is still the best among others. Yes the things are getting bad in the last couple of years but it happens sometimes but it is not the time to leave Turkey helpless and alone. It is the time to help and stand with Turkey against international waves of terrorism. Turkey is still a haven for refugees. It is one of the most beautiful countries of the world with a great attraction for tourists. It is the gateway between two big continents of the world, with a big army. If there is No peace in Turkey there is no peace in the world. National and international leadership must have to do right on right time.Read more
Analysts need the answer of just a simple question; why there is so much peace and stability in the Pak’s Kashmir and why India has failed to stabilize its occupied part with o.7 million army personals.
It is evident that we share the common quality of lack of trust. India says that Pak has to act against banned terrorist organizations and Pak wants the Modi government to stop interfering in Baluchistan. Pakistan has also set Kashmir, the pivotal point of negotiations.
PM Modi’s these two years was the biggest opportunity as Modi has credible fame in India and in Pakistan; security establishment approach has been relaxed in context of India. Some analysts give credit to Pak China economic corridor as China wants Pakistan and India to settle down some core issues. With the passage of time, the general election will not let the Indians to put all things on table and anti Pakistan slogans shall be heard again.
Economies That Bind
Nothing can bind us except economy. India feels that economic corridor is a threat to its national security, with the rise of Chinese involvement in Pakistan and they are trying to turn every stone to establish a counter strategy e.g. ChahBhar Port. However, Indians know that Chah bahar needs the stability in Afghanistan for its operations in region while the C-PEC will produce result just after the last day of its completion.
Indian political elite and media object that in Pakistan, the government has no cards in its hands and it is the army which manipulated the policy to India. To some extent, it is right as in our foreign policy – security establishment has more than required role which did not let the diplomacy to work properly.
Pakistan has to realize that terrorism hit our growth that is just 4. 6 % while India with its economical strategies in foreign policy hitting the figure of 7.9 % in GDP.
Without economy, what’s the future of Pakistan? Europe’s example is in front of us, where the nations set the highest examples of cruelty in wars but now put past aside and diverted their attention from defense to human development.
Budget of both sides did not allow them to exceed from certain limit in defense spending and poverty in both countries demands some kind of maturity.
India can’t become the guard of this region with America’s support – a reality, India has to accept. While, credible relations with Pakistan can boost its global image and economy.
War is no option and according to Manmohan Singh “You can change your friend but not your neighbor”- this lesson should act as the ideology for any composite dialogue. Kashmir solution and water security is must for sustainable peace and yes! Pakistan can’t get the fruitful result except with the action against banned organizations.
History looks beautiful in books and for wisdom but in reality, the 21st century proves that you have to compromise on your hard memories and ideological approaches for the betterment of future generations.Read more
Trump vs China. A break with the one China policy spanning decades. An intercontinental trade war. Even actual military action could be on the horizon following increased tensity during the first weeks of the Trump presidency.
To the disbelief of many political pundits, Donald Trump emerged victorious in the presidential elections of November last year by a comfortable lead. Riding on the wave of populism, his appeal to American working class stemmed mostly from his radical worldview and the promises to reignite the faltering economic engine.
The talk of financial reforms and recreating jobs though, did not make up the most flashing headlines worldwide – that status was hogged by a seemingly ceaseless stream of eccentric views on a number of foreign policy issues. Often expressed through twitter and in the media interviews leading up to the poll, – these statements made frequent mention of Mexico, Iran, Russia, and China.
The One China Policy
China can be said to have occupied a central place in Trump’s pre-election rhetoric. During his election campaign the president vowed to take on a harder line towards the Asian giant over, what the analysts have dubbed, a number of highly sensitive issues. Chief among them is Beijing’s assertion of its territorial sovereignty over reefs and artificially made – and now militarized – islands in South China Sea. An important Trump aide, Rex Tellirson, who was also recently confirmed as the secretary of state is reported to have suggested, in his confirmation hearing before the senate committee that US should beef up its military footprint in the volatile region to deter Beijing’s emboldened regional ambitions and even consider imposing a naval blockade surrounding the contested waters. These remarks have been a cause of growing concern not only in Beijing but also among former White House officials and diplomats who have described Trumps remarks as incoherent and worrisome and earnestly cautioned the newly elected administration from escalating tensions with China.
One China Policy – a policy principle that demands states would not dispute China’s claim over Taiwan, a small democracy in Pacific – also seems set to travel uncertain roads under Trump. Upon his election, the new president spoke with the island nation’s president over phone, which was perceived by many to be a step in the direction of ultimately breaking away from long standing US diplomatic tradition of recognizing China’s territorial unity.
That phone call, coupled with Trumps earlier statements signaling his publically declared intent to reconsider diplomatic norms as sacrosanct as ‘One-China Policy’ once he takes the helm has evoked strong diplomatic reprisal from Beijing, further straining already tense relations between the two countries.
Trump Vs China
Trade arrangements between the two countries, perceived by Trump to be sharply tilted to favor China, have also been in the crosshairs of president’s vociferous criticism. Resolute statements from the newly elected president have emerged during the run up to the election where he called for a reexamination of trade terms with China.
Beijing’s alleged devaluation of its national currency to boost its exports at the cost of US manufacturing is another subject Trump has spoken about with great deal of dissatisfaction. Trump believes Beijing is involved in crafty manipulation of its currency which has served to undermine US economic interests.
Trump vs China – is it going to unfold or fade ? With Trumps unpredictability and declared ‘US First’ policy combined with China’s growing assertiveness over its South China Sea claims, the two largest world economies seem to be moving on a path of mutual confrontation. Suffice to say, if impulsive actions come to dominate rational decision-making, the already fragile regional stability would be strained to its limits, precipitating far reaching consequences. This is something security establishments in both Washington and Beijing ought to be mindful of as they perform their strategic calculations.