In his party, the Orange Democratic Movement, he is captive of competing inter-ethnic interests for vantage positions in the new pecking order.
He is fighting two wars, the first being to get "real power sharing and portfolio’’ balance in the Government, as well as the space and influence of the most powerful office outside State House.
In the backstage, there is the trickier game of juggling the interests of the influential personalities, without upsetting the inter-ethnic bonds that formed the Orange mosaic.
Thirdly, the leader of the party on the road to sharing government positions with Kibaki’s Party of National Unity has the arduous task of reaching out to the other side, as a signal he means well and is accommodating.
But even as he reaches out, there is the delicate balance, the act of spreading his tentacles without losing grip of ODM. Any sign he has been "swallowed, or is "carried away", could trigger trouble for him in ODM.
But the biggest headache for ODM is in the Rift Valley.
Like Nyanza, Rift Valley voted almost exclusively for ODM, has more MPs and bore the brunt of the violence that gripped the country after the polls. Inside the party, no one doubts that the region needs to be ‘rewarded’.
But at most, there could be only 17 slots for about 100 ODM MPs drawn from six provinces.
Some of the leaders from the Rift Valley think the region should get some five slots in the Cabinet, in recognition of the huge vote it brought to the party.
I wonder how Raila will manage to please everyone.
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