Poll: MPs face battle to retain seats

Infotrak managing director Angela Ambitho. A new poll shows that 63 per cent of Kenyans will not re-elect their MPs come the next General Election July 1, 2011. FILE

MPs are in for a rude shock after more than half of Kenyans told a pollster they do not intend to re-elect their current representatives.

A survey released Friday by Infotrak Harris shows that 63 per cent of Kenyans want a new MP in to represent them in Parliament the next General Election due in 2012.

Majority of those polled (57pc) said their MPs had reneged on promises made during campaigns and are therefore not willing to renew their mandate.

“A majority of the respondents identified failure to fulfil their election pledges as the main reason why they would not re-elect their current MPs” Ms Angela Ambitho said during the release of the poll Friday in Nairobi.

Other reasons that those polled advanced were: mismanagement of CDF funds (35pc), corruption (16pc), inaccessibility to constituents (11pc), poor leadership (9pc), poor participation in parliamentary proceedings (4pc) and arrogance (3pc).

The youth, aged between 18-35 years, represented the biggest percentage of Kenyans opposed to giving MPs a new lease of life. 81pc said all the 210 legislators should be sent home.

Urban dwellers were more unwilling to give their current MPs a second chance than their rural counterparts at 67pc and 33pc respectively.

Regionally, Nyanza (77pc) and Eastern (74pc) recorded high incidence levels of those dissatisfied with the record of their area representatives.

Western region constituents (67pc) also said they will vote for a new MP.

On the other hand, North Eastern and Coastal regions at 44pc and 56pc respectively recorded low incidence levels of those opposed to renewing their MPs' contract.

In the recent past, Kenyans have voiced discontent over what they consider to MPs insensitivity to the plight.

The rising cost of living occasioned by high food and fuel prices has led to demonstrations by Kenyans on the streets of Nairobi and other major towns to demand intervention from their elected representatives.

Kenyans are also unhappy with MPs reluctance to pay tax arrears to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) amounting to at least Sh2 million.

The projected total is backdated to August 2010 after the promulgation of the Constitution that requires all State officers to pay tax on their income.

According to the poll, 84pc reported that the standard of living is worse today than a year ago citing unemployment and high commodity prices, insecurity and slow implementation of the Constitution.

Of those polled, nearly all respondents (90pc) said the high food and fuel prices had affected their lifestyle for the worse.

The poll, representing a sample of 2400 respondents, was conducted between 26 - 27 May.

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