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 Saturday, 28 December, 2002, 21:33 GMT
Election diary: The party goes on
Opposition supporters flash victory signs at a party in Mombasa
The victory parties continue in Mombasa

You might have guessed - the street party still goes on.

Officials count votes
The opposition have done really well on the coast
The music and the noise has now moved to the beaches, dotted with thatch-roofed holiday hotels.

Once upon a time, only tourists roamed here in search of sea, sun and sand.

Today, almost a whole town has relocated to the shore and a beerfest is under way as opposition supporters toast their party's almost certain victory.

Changing fortunes

Perhaps change begets change: swimwear instead of floor-length tunics for men and ordinary dresses for the ladies.

I watch from a distance under swaying palm trees, as men and women play and occasionally break into one of the opposition's famous chants: "All is possible without Moi."

The new Kenya seems to unfold against the backdrop of the vast Indian Ocean.

In the hotel, as I pack some of my equipment before jetting out of town tomorrow morning, I can't help thinking about how political fortunes have changed for two men in this town.

Paying the price

One is the new kid on the block who has been making the rounds in Mombasa, pressing flesh with the people who elected him, always a hint of a smile on his face.

Najib Balala, the 44-year-old former mayor of Mombasa and one of the leading lights of the opposition alliance on the island, is having a good time.

The man he replaces in Mombasa's seat of power is 70-year-old Sharif Nassir.

He has not been seen in public since he addressed his last campaign rally on Thursday.

Perhaps political misfortune and poor health have conspired to deny the old man a lap of honour after a long political career spanning almost 30 years.

I guess there was bound to be a price to pay when you dance with the devil for so long.

Click here to read Gray Phombeah's previous election diary
Kenyans choose a new president

Key stories

Inauguration day

Moi steps down

Background

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