Political survival has become the order of the day ahead of Kenya's March polls. After falling out with Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi now leads the Amani coalition.
Musalia Mudavadi's recently launched Amani coalition derives its name from the Kiswahili word for peace. The alliance is made up of four political parties which include the former ruling Kenya African National Union (KANU), and New Ford Kenya party of Justice Minister Eugene Wamalwa.
Mudavadi and Wamalwa both come from Kenya's western region.
By entering the race for Kenya's presidency, the Amani coalition becomes the third biggest alliance in the run-up to the March elections. The other two major alliances are headed by Prime Minister Raila Odinga's Coalition for Restoration and Democracy (CORD) and his main rival Uhuru Kenyatta's Jubilee alliance.
Conned of candidacy
Before teaming up with Wamalwa, Mudavadi quit Kenyatta's jubilee coalition saying he had been cheated out of an agreement that would have made him presidential candidate.
However Kenyan political analyst Martin Oloo does not think much of Mudavadi's latest political move. "Musalia Mudavadi is finding himself on a back pedal because his ambition to become the President are being shattered by his failure to hold on to the coalition arrangement," Oloo told DW in an interview. According to the political science lecturer from the University of Nairobi, Mudavadi seems to have sealed his own fate.
Besides these three main alliances, there is also the Eagle alliance led by Peter Kenneth and Raphael Tuju, both running for presidency.
A recent survey by Ipsos Synovate, an independent research organisation, showed that Raila Odinga's and Uhuru Kenyatta's alliances are currently runnning head-to-head. The survey, which was held before the new alliance was formed, also reveals that 22 per cent of Kenyans are still undecided.
Haunted by the Hague
Even though Kenya's electoral commission gave Kenyatta and his running mate, William Ruto, the go ahead to run for presidency, their controversial candidacy is being overshadowed by criminal charges at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Kenyatta and Ruto are accused of carrying out crimes against humanity during the 2007-2008 post election violence.
The trial in The Hague is set to begin in April whether the accused persons hold state offices or not.
Much of Kenyan politics still runs along ethnic lines.
In 2002, Many Kenyans had hoped for change and an end to ethnic conflicts when an opposition alliance known as the rainbow coalition ousted the ruling Kenyan African National Union (KANU) party from the government. But in 2007, an outbreak of ethnic violence claimed more than 1,000 lives after President Mwai Kibaki was declared winner of the election. The bloodshed ended after the formation of a coalition goverment mediated by Ghana's Kofi Annan. The deal allowed for power sharing between President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.