Kenyan Elections 2013

Eli Cohen

Many Kenyan's lined up in the wee hours of the morning in order to ensure  an opportunity to vote. Though the elections weren't violence-free, they were a vast improvement from 2010.

Many Kenyan’s lined up in the wee hours of the morning in order to ensure an opportunity to vote. Though the elections weren’t violence-free, they were a vast improvement from 2010.

On March 4th, hundreds of Kenyan citizens lined up at the voting booths to partake in the most critical Kenyan election since Kenya gained independence 50 years ago. This election is considered such an important one because it is the country’s first election since its western-esque liberal constitution was instituted in 2010. The constitution was created following the aftermath of the 2007 election, which was fixed for President Mwai Kibaki to win yet again. Most of the country voted for the other candidate and claimed voter fraud within the election.

This fixed election led to civil unrest and war between enraged citizens and the government. Over 1,000 people died during violent outbursts and around 250,000 were displaced as towns were ravaged. In the end, the main opponent of Kibaki- Raila Odinga- became prime minister and created the coalition government which led to the writing of their new constitution. Today, the polls are closed and the new prime minister will soon be announced. However, going through all the ballots, it seems to show that around 3,000 of them have been displaced, meaning, they are mysteriously missing. But as a deomontration of Kenya’s progress, this discrepancy is being solved with lawyers rather than violence.

In many ways, this is less about the election and more about the example Kenya and its new constition has set for the rest of Africa. Thanks to the new constitution, people will have more rights and the power of the government is going to be limited to prevent absolutism from taking place. Notably, 75% of Kenya’s population is below the age of 30, and never in it’s history has it had a healthier, more educated, and tech- savvy lifestyle than it does now.

Kenya’s future is looking bright.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *