President Odinga?

Early results seem to indicate that Raila Odinga will be Kenya’s next president, and that much of Parliament has been taken away from KANU too. (News from New York Times.)

Raila’s father, Oginga Odinga, was Kenya’s first Vice President, and first opposition leader. He also attempted to create a multi-party political system, but this failed when the constitution was modified to specifically make the country one-party.

The various analyzes that I’ve read indicate that the primary reason that Kibaki is being voted out is not that he’s been ineffective – he hasn’t, he’s brought a lot of prosperity to Kenya – but that his government shows tribal favoritism at all levels, and that if you’re not the right tribe, you’re out of luck. Odinga made this a major issue in his campaign, and it appears to have paid off.

What’ll be interesting is whether he can do anything substantive before people’s patience runs out. He’s made a lot of promises, and since he can’t possibly make good on all of them, or even most of them, and certainly not in the magical first 100 days, it’ll be interesting to see how long he remains the hero.

Still, it’s a historic event, putting a bit of a cap on what happened in 2002, and removing KANU from power pretty decisively.