on monday. she had been battling breast cancer for many years. ♪ this is al jazeera and these are your top stories. the u.n. special coordinator for the middle east has warned that the cease-fire between israel and palestine is fragile. he said any presumption of hostility -- resumption of hostility would be devastating. funerals have been held for some of those killed in that three day battle.
donald trump says his home has been graded by the fbi. it is unclear why agents would have entered his house in florida. trump said the raid was not necessary. reporter: this news comes to us from a statement issued by trump. we have no confirmation or comment from the fbi or justice department on the alleged raid but trump released a statement on his social media saying his home in palm beach is currently under siege, rated and occupied by a large group of fbi agents. after working on cooperating, he says, the raid at my home was not necessary or appropriate. >> russia says -- russia blames
ukraine for selling a plant last week. the eu has tabled talks about the iran nuclear deal. it was said what can be negotiation has been. the u.s. says they are ready to quickly conclude a deal based on the text. iran responded that the new text requires comprehensive review and should ensure the end of sanctions. that's it for the news. the news will continue again after inside story. ♪
>> who will be kenya's next leader? president uhuru kenyatta is stepping down after a decade in power. previous elections were marred by violence. will it be different this time? and what's at stake in this vote? this is "inside story." ♪ hello and welcome to the program. i'm muhammad. kenyans go to the polls on tuesday to choose a new president, parliament, and county assemblies. candidates held their final campaigns over the weekend, drawing large crowds. some familiar faces are vying for the presidency, and their messages are similar. revive the economy, create jobs, and end corruption. many voters frustrated by corruption and skyrocketing prices are calling for change.
haru mutasa in nairobi has more on who is running, and what is at stake. reporter: this is ugali, made from kenyan staple unga or maize meal like most basics here, its price has gone up, and because of shortages, it's not easy to find. >> if things continue this way, more businesses will close. we are facing a lot of challenges. reporter: corruption, foreign debt, rising inflation, and unemployment are big election issues, and all candidates have promised to cushion households against the increasing cost of living. four politicians are running for the presidency. david, a lawyer and pastor. george, a law professor, william ruto, kenya's deputy president, and ryla odinga, a former prime minister. but opinion poll suggests there are two frontrunners.
the current deputy president, who describes himself as a hustler and hopes his rags to riches story will resonate with the poor, and odinga, who's making his fifth bid for the top job. the veteran opposition leader is the son of kenya's first vice president and enjoys the backing of current leader, uhuru kenyatta. it's an election some analysts say will be hotly contested. kikuyu is the largest ethnic group in kenya, have no presidential favorites this time. however, both ruto and odinga have chosen hikuyu running mates in a country where ethnic voting blocks are important. a divided kikuyu vote means this election could go either way. there are already claims and counter claims of sabotage and vote rigging. more than 1000 people died in the 2007 elections. >> what happens with kenya's geopolitical significance is that tension sort of begins to
shake up the stability of the of the great horn of africa and the larger east africa. and there's a lot of international organizations that are based here, so kenya is very strategic from a global perspective. and that's what the international community is looking at. the business community is basically just sitting on the edge of their seats trying to figure out whether this is going to go peacefully or not. reporter: unlike some previous votes, there's been less pre-election violence. kenyans generally have confidence in the judiciary. many hope if the results are disputed, candidates will resolve their differences in court and not the streets. haru mutasa, al jazeera, nairobi. muhammad: pre and post-election violence in kenya is rooted in ethnic tensions. every vote since has been marred -- every vote since 1997 has been marred by arrest. more than 1000 people were killed and 600,000 people
displaced when rival candidates both claimed victory. ten years later, dozens of people were killed when police clamped down on demonstrations. the opposition refused to accept the results, claiming vote rigging and fraud. ♪ all right, let's go ahead and bring in our guests. in london is fergus kell, a research analyst in the africa program at chatham house. and in nairobi is jackie quanique, a lawyer and writer. a warm welcome to you both and thanks so much for joining us today on "inside story." jackie, let me start with you today. elections in kenya are often more about personalities and ethnic alliances. are issues like the economy, the cost of living, and fighting corruption more front and center for voters this time than they were in the past? jackie: i'd say yes, because the cost of living has first reason to an unbearable rate right now. kenyans recently had the
president pass a subsidy on -- retailing for two dollars. in kenya, it was capped at a dollar because people, the financial and economic sentiments, we are suffering, we are struggling. i'd say yes, it's taken more center stage. and then for the first time ever, both front runners are not from the tribe that's seen as the main tribe for political leadership. muhammad: fergus, how close is the race expected to be? is it possible there could be a runoff? and have the candidate made commitments to respect the outcome? fergus: i think we are likely to see a close race. i think there are probably three likely potential outcomes, any of which is possible at this
stage. that would be either an outright rylo dingle win, an outright william ruto win, in which case either of the candidates would need to receive over 50% of the vote. but the third option as you say is a runoff, in which neither of the main candidates receives 50% of the vote. and that might be possible due to the two slightly more peripheral outsider candidates, david muary and professor waka joya. and so it is going to be a tight race. polling suggests it will be close, and it will be about the calculus of different regional strongholds and battleground states as well there. and in terms of a commitment to respect the results, i think all the way back in march we had both candidates speak at chatham house here in london in which they both pledged to respect the outcome of a free and fair election. and in more recent weeks, in the last week both have agreed that
they will shake hands or have tea together after the result is announced. and so i think the important message there is that they accept the results of a free and fair election, and if the election is deemed not to be free and fair, that they challenge that within the proper judicial framework of the supreme court. muhammad: jackie, i saw you nodding along to some of what fergus was saying. so i'm going to let you jump in and add whatever you'd like to add, but i also want to ask you, kenya has a recent history of turbulent elections and violence after elections. is there a concern this time that violence could play a part, and from your perspective, have precautions been taken to ensure that this doesn't happen? jackie: first i'd like to commend all the parties so far in how they've conducted themselves. for the first time in recent history, we've had a violence-free, relatively violent-free campaign period. normally during campaign periods in kenya, we'll have many
strikes leading up to the election. we're used to office closures, people can't access the central business district. this year we've not had any incidences of that. and i think it's because of some of the commitments that have been made by the political candidates. and as a kenyan, i'm really grateful for that. we've been able to work almost all through the campaign, all through the campaign almost, and their commitment towards shaking hands because it's because the general sentiment of kenyans this time is let's finish this and let's go back to work . some people are living hand to mouth. muhammad: you were mentioning just there the importance of this idea of having a handshake and i actually want to talk for a second about a different handshake that made headlines a few years back. rylo odinga has run for president four other times in the past but this time he is backed by longtime political
rival president uhuru kenyatta . and there was this very famous and public handshake between the two in 2018. how did the alliance come about and how significant is it? jackie: it's significant because at that time, nothing had gone back to normal. because there are both sides were disgruntled. there was a ruling by the supreme court rather judgment . the supreme court that nullified the elections the first time now and so when we when the second
elections were held a number of a number of the electorate those who were supporting right now dinga actually did not were urged to abstain from voting so already even though we went through the process a second time. the number of people who felt like their issues weren't addressed who did not even turn up were sizable. i know there's a lot of criticism around it but a kenyan whose daily life had been affected would be affected if it was not resolved, they handshake was crucial for returning us and our lives back to normal. we tend to focus on the higher stakes in politics and forget the people who are actually impacted, electorate. muhammad: fergus, the alliance between ryla odinga and uhuru kenyatta basically sidelined kenyatta's deputy william ruto , who is running. what led to the fallout between them? fergus: it's unclear what the
precise reasons are for the fallout but there is a general understanding that it was linked to a promise or an understanding between president kenyatta and william ruto that when they came together in what was to some extent a marriage of convenience to contest for the elections in 2013 and 2017, that kenyatta would repay the favor by supporting ruto when he was contesting for the presidency following the end of kenyatta's second term. with the handshake and with kenyatta's public backing of odinga and of the bbi initiative that emerged from that, we have seen that that promise, whether it was made has not has not been fulfilled. so ruto in his own ambitions to ascend to the presidency split off from kenyatta, distanced himself from cabinet meetings and ended up leaving the party that they formed together. muhammad: jackie, william ruta
describes himself as a hustler and he has cast this race as a contest between hustlers and dynasties. what does he mean when he uses the term hustler versus when he uses the term dynasty? has this framing device caught on? is it having a big impact so far in the campaigning? jackie: for context, our current president was the son of our founding president and reinhard father was one of kenya's vice presidents. so they are considered dynasty because their fathers had positions of power. and bruto where rather is claiming that he rules from being the son of a nobody to where he is.
he's claiming that he's self-made, he's come up, and that's i guess is his appeal and how he's trying to be more relatable to the masses, because the majority of kenyans live below the poverty line. so if i can get here, you can get here. i'm the son of no one and very many people can relate to that message. i think it has resonated with some people. muhammad: fergus, what are the main issues that are separating the leading candidates this time out? what platforms are they running on? fergus: i think there has been increasing convergence between the two candidates on key manifesto issues but there are a few that separate them to some extent. one of them i would say is corruption in that rylo dinger has been campaigning on a very strong zero tolerance to corruption platform, that's one of his key messages throughout the campaign.
whereas for ruto, that's been less of a feature of his campaign and he's chosen instead to emphasize the needs for independence in the anti-corruption agencies in kenya and the need to de-politicize the fight against corruption in kenya. there is also that. there's some divergence there in terms of ruto is fairly sure that his campaign promises in broadening the tax base would allow kenya to tackle its tax, its debt issues, whereas odinga has promised to restructure and renegotiate some of the debt burden. there's also a general slight difference in terms of the focus of their campaign so odinga's being much more focused on social protection, on healthcare promises in particular, whereas ruto has a real strong emphasis on this on his economic model which he calls bottom up and on support to entrepreneurs in kenya. muhammad: jackie, it does seem
that corruption is playing a major role in in the campaign season. how frustrated are voters with corruption in kenya and do any of the leading candidates have credibility when it comes to pledges to tackle these issues and fight corruption? jackie: i'd say kenyans are quite frustrated. we have we have on average two to three major scandals a year where the amounts are unthinkable for normal kenyans. it is frustrating. i know it's a major issue as we go into the election period and when it comes to both the candidates, many voters are a bit hesitant to believe any of the promises being made because both the leading candidates in this election have served in
previous governments, have held positions of power and influence and there doesn't seem to be much change from them being in these positions. so i think there is hesitancy to believe them and they are focusing more on those other promises and not on corruption. muhammad: fergus, i saw you nodding along to some of what jackie was saying. did you want to jump in? fergus: i would agree that corruption has probably been supplanted by broader economic issues as a key campaigning topic in this election campaign but i would say that on your question around the anti-corruption stances of key figures that the deputy presidential candidate on the honor as part of edingo's campaign is seen as someone with reasonable integrity when it comes to the anti-corruption
issue. she's popular with civil society in kenya as it relates to this issue. muhammad: jackie, rylo odinga nominated martha carua as his running mate. she's a longtime politician, former justice minister, she's the first woman to be nominated as a running mate on a major political ticket. has this choice energized the electorate and has it given raila odinga's campaign a boost ? jackie: i would say it has. she has never been seen as a front runner on the presidential platform. she never managed to garner that much support by herself. but she is a force and having a woman who has been seen fighting for different causes through the 1990's, early 2000's and 2010s,
i think she has been very instrumental. i think it has bolstered his campaign. i don't have time to go much into individuals but i do think it was a good choice. muhammad: and jackie, have the political reforms that were introduced after the election violence in 2007, have those political reforms made it easier for women and even for youth to participate in the political process? jackie: definitely. i'd say the constitution of 2010 has made it a lot easier for women and youth because there's a program called ago under which women and youth get 30% of government, at least government business contracts, 30% reserve women and youth and i think this has increased access to capital and funds for those two groups the women and the youth and
capital. at the end of the day, elections are about money. if you have access to money and you can move money, you can make yourself visible. i think this has greatly changed things. i am a wife and i am happy for this. muhammad: fergus, women make up nearly half of registered voters in kenya but compared to other countries in east africa kenya still has few female elected leaders. from your perspective, why is that and are there signs that things might play out differently this election cycle ? fergus: i think it comes back a little bit to what jackie was saying about the role of money in kenya elections. there had been a clear effort this time to pass campaign financing laws that would have increased transparency and
introduce spending limits for the campaigns. they did not end up passing. so we have seen unchecked spending by candidates which makes it difficult for more marginalized groups to enter into the political process. looking at the number of candidates who are contesting this time, i think around 60,000 total candidates, only 12% are women so there is clearly a long way to go on this front in order to achieve better gender representation in kind of senior kenyan politics. muhammad: what about the youth in this election cycle? are they more energized? how has social media changed the campaign so far? jackie: i think there's greater
apathy amongst people who voted previously. the new voters are more excited. they are more plugged in. whoever runs the tiktok account is doing a good job engaging the youth. and twitter has been agreed to for different candidates to address issues and i can't compare the social media penetration that's there this time compared to 2013. i think the 2017, 2022 seems more organic. at least from what i have seen. i think the youth are more plugged in and asking more questions.
i've seen a number of skits being run by gen z on what it feels like to be in a presidential debate. i think the first time voters of the ones to watch out for. they might change everything. muhammad: fergus, kenya is east africa's economic hub. how important is it to the region that that during this election and after this election things remain calm and stable i -- stable? fergus: it is really significant not just in terms of kenya's economic role, which is significant for that landlocked countries in east africa region, but also the benchmark it would set for democracy. kenya is the only country in east africa to have overseen a relatively stable transition of power between government and opposition. when you look at the current situation in tanzania or uganda for example where the context has been really difficult for opposition parties to operate i think kenya leading the way in
terms of stable transition is really important. when you look for example at the 2017 annulment the precedent , that that set for the rest of the region and internationally was really significant and we already saw in malawi in 2020 a similar annulment of a presidential result which cited the kenya ruling as a precedent 2017. so kenya really has the potential to to lead on this within the region and to act as a benchmark. muhammad: jackie, from your vantage point there in nairobi what's the earliest you think that official results would be announced? jackie: i think friday. muhammad: it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. that is all the time for today. we have to leave the conversation there. thanks so much to our guests fergus kell and jackie quanique and thanks for watching. you can see the program again
claudette zepeda-wilkins: american is a relative term. what is american? personally i think the border is, you know, just a speed bump in between two countries. as a child, i think we took tj for granted not because it was a different country to me. to me, it was just like, "oh, it's just tj. it's where the other half of my family lives." and en if i was in tj my entire life, being this far north, you are sort of removed from the other parts of mexico and the culture. you're mexican, but you don't ally know.