When Kenyans vote in the country’s presidential, parliamentary and county elections March 4, they will have the chance to distance themselves from the traumatic elections of December 2007. More than 1,000 people were killed and approximately half a million others fled their homes when violence between rival ethnic groups and political supporters broke out in the weeks following the vote. Much has changed since then, a lot of it for the better. But the main causes of the violence remain unaddressed. The 2013 election is thus fraught with hazard, and a mood of trepidation has characterized the campaign period.
The violence of early 2008 ended when a mediation team from the African Union brought the leaders of the warring parties into a power-sharing government headed by President Mwai Kibaki, with Raila Odinga taking the hastily created post of prime minister. It was an imperfect arrangement, but some progress has been made since then. Most importantly, the new constitution passed in 2010 addresses some of the causes of Kenya’s zero-sum politics by diluting some executive authority in favor of U.S.-style separation of powers. One key feature is the devolution of important functions to 47 newly established counties, each with a governor and an assembly. ...
To read the rest, sign up to try World Politics Review
Sign up for two weeks of free access with your credit card. Cancel any time during the free trial and you will be charged nothing.
Request a free trial for your office or school. Everyone at a given site can get access through our institutional subscriptions.
- Playing Many Sides, Sudan’s Bashir Tries Again to End His Isolation
- Strategic Horizons: Making Libya a U.N. Protectorate Would Be Wise but Impossible
- Next Up in Somalia’s Fragile Transition: Bridge Political Divides
- Libya Needs More Than Unity Government to Halt IS Rise
- Diplomatic Fallout: Europe Needs Strategy to Address Libya, Ukraine Crises—Not Panic