Renowned political analyst prof Herman Manyora says the referendum will be a turning point for Deputy President William Ruto's bid to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2022.
According to Manyora, should DP Ruto win against the referendum push, psychologically, he will win the hearts of the people who are not decided yet on who to vote for in 2022?
They will have the perception that since he has won against 'the handshake', he is then the most likely person to succeed Uhuru.
"If William Ruto successfully wins the referendum, two things happen and lead him to victory. Number one, he gets the psychological advantage of getting the fence seaters, people who are not sure. (they will be saying) this guy is tough if he can beat this government team then he will win 2022. For that, he will get people who are not decided," Manyora said.
Manyora added that DP Ruto's supporters who are not very much convinced or rather sure about him, will now fully rally behind him with confidence.
"Secondly, a lot of his supporters who are kind of fifty-fifty will now firmly fall in his place. It will give them the confidence to support him. That psychological boost that will come from the referendum will start a momentum that you will not manage in 2022," Manyora noted.
The analyst also opined that should the referendum fail to materialise, then, this structure of government will make it difficult for the 'Kieleweke' team to fit in leaders and this confusion will give DP Ruto an easier path.
"The 2022 game on the handshake team is firmly founded and based on the distribution of positions that would have then been created by the referendum. In the absence of those positions, Uhuru Kenyatta, Raila Odinga, Francis Atwoli, Murathe and the rest become extremely difficult. In the absence of the office of the Prime Minister, you are dead on arrival," offered the analyst.