Kenya: Current Conditions and the Challenges Ahead Ted Dagne

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Published: June 8th 2011

Kindle Edition

25 pages


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Kenya: Current Conditions and the Challenges Ahead  by  Ted Dagne

Kenya: Current Conditions and the Challenges Ahead by Ted Dagne
June 8th 2011 | Kindle Edition | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, RTF | 25 pages | ISBN: | 4.19 Mb

Kenya, a nation of about 36.9 million people, has been an important ally of the United States for decades. Kenya moved from a one-party state to a multi-party democracy in 1992. Kenyans voted in record numbers in the country’s first multi-partyMoreKenya, a nation of about 36.9 million people, has been an important ally of the United States for decades.

Kenya moved from a one-party state to a multi-party democracy in 1992. Kenyans voted in record numbers in the country’s first multi-party election in almost 26 years. President Daniel arap Moi defeated opposition candidates by a small margin. In 1997, Kenya held its second multi- party elections, at the height of tensions between the opposition and the ruling party.

President Moi was re-elected with 40% of the votes cast, while his nearest rival, Mwai Kibaki, won 31%. In the 2002 presidential and parliamentary elections, the opposition National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) defeated the ruling Kenya African National Union (KANU). In the presidential election, NARC leader Kibaki defeated Uhuru Kenyatta, the leader of KANU.On December 27, 2007, millions of Kenyans went to the polls in Kenya’s fourth multi-party elections, with the hope of strengthening the institutions of democracy and, most importantly in the view of many observers, of bringing change.

An estimated 14.2 million (82% of the total eligible voters) Kenyans were registered to vote, while 2,547 parliamentary candidates were qualified to run in 210 constituencies, according to the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK). Nine candidates competed in the presidential election. The opposition reportedly made significant gains in the parliamentary elections.

The ECK, however, hastily declared President Kibaki as the winner of the elections. Kibaki was quickly sworn in as president, while international and domestic election observers declared the elections as rigged and deeply flawed.Following the announcement of the election results, violence erupted in many parts of Kenya. More than 1,000 people have been killed and an estimated 350,000 reportedly displaced. In August 2008, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) released a report on the post-election violence.

In early February, the opposition and the government began negotiations under the leadership of former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. The two parties agreed to work together to end the violence, improve humanitarian conditions, and write a new constitution within a year. In late February, the government and the opposition reached a power- sharing arrangement.

On March 18, 2008, the Kenya parliament unanimously approved the agreement. On April 3, 2008, the parties agreed on a 40-member cabinet. But important reforms agreed to by the parties have yet to be implemented. The initial United States government reaction to the December elections was considered by some international observers as contradictory and seen by some Kenyans as being one-sided in favor of President Kibaki.

On December 30, the United States government reportedly congratulated President Kibaki. Senior Bush Administration officials visited Kenya in an effort to resolve the crisis and provided support to Kofi Annan’s mediation efforts. The Obama Administration has repeatedly pressed the government of Kenya to implement reforms agreed to by the parties in 2008.

In September 2009, Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Johnnie Carson sent a letter to 15 Kenyan officials warning them that reforms must be implemented. In April 2010, the Kenyan parliament passed a new draft constitution, and on August 4, 2010, Kenyans approved the new constitution.

The next general elections are scheduled for 2012.



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