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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 August 2007, 09:51 GMT 10:51 UK
Opposition in Kenya splits in two
Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki
The ODM split is good news for Mr Kibaki
Kenya's main opposition coalition, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), has split four months ahead of elections.

The movement was viewed as the greatest challenge to President Mwai Kibaki's re-election bid before it divided.

Rivals Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka, who are both seeking the presidency, are now de facto leaders of two factions.

Kenyans go to the polls in December and opinion polls place President Kibaki as the favourite to win.

Fragmented

The ODM party was registered in 2005 after the government's proposed constitution was defeated in a referendum, the orange being the symbol for the "no" vote.

HAVE YOUR SAY
I do not expect anything from the opposition parties as they are the birds of the same feather
Chernor Jalloh

Bitter struggles to gain control of the ODM are blamed for the split.

Mr Odinga, renowned for his struggle against former President Daniel arap Moi's rule, recaptured what is known as the original ODM faction.

Mr Musyoka, a former foreign minister, now leads the ODM - Kenya faction.

Political analyst Mutahi Ngunyi says Mr Kibaki, who has declared he will be seeking a second term in office, now has greater chances of being re-elected if he faces a fragmented opposition.

Anti-constitution campaigner
ODM gained popularity during a referendum on the constitution

President Kibaki came to power in 2002 after opposition parties formed the National Rainbow Coalition (Narc) to run against the former ruling party, Kanu.

Despite coming to power on an anti-graft ticket, Mr Kibaki's administration has drawn sharp criticism from key donors for failing to tackle corruption.

But polls say his government remains popular among Kenyans for introducing free primary school education and presiding over economic growth now placed at more than 6% annually.

President Kibaki has yet to name the party ticket he will use to seek re-election after Narc disintegrated.




SEE ALSO
Are opposition parties toothless?
14 Aug 07 |  Africa Have Your Say

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