Kenya votes

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In just four days, Kenya will be voting. Many worry that the national and local elections may cause friction between ethnic groups in Kenya due to the closeness of the race. Yet, I am very hopeful that things will go smoothly.

I find that the media typically name drops “ethnic conflict” every time an African nation votes simply because that’s the easy thing to do. It’s easy to say or buy into sentiments that suggest that an African election will be filled with violence and fraudulent results. However, the fact remains that many African elections occur every year in a peaceful manner with legitimate results.

It is essential that the media stops reverting to the stereotypes that all African elections are fraught with violent bloodshed and ballet stuffing. Each African election climate is different. For example, Ghana’s recent election was a complete peaceful affair. Though the NPP opposition party was upset that it lost the election, the country accepted the results and embraced President Mahama as their leader.

Stories like these are becoming the norm across Africa. Therefore, it is pointless to continue and equivocate violence to all African elections.

For up to the minute Kenyan election coverage, visit the Daily Nation’s Election page. Below are excerpts from the Daily Nation’s candidate profiles.

The Candidates:

  • Mohamed Abduba Dida says he is a candidate for the poor and an agent of human morality and change, having struggled through life from his Wajir home to Mukuru Kwa Njenga slum where his father, a retired junior policeman, lived.

  • Martha Wangari Karua is the leading female candidate eyeing the Presidency in this election. Her candidature follows a fallout with President Kibaki that saw her resign as Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs.

  • Peter Kenneth is Making his maiden attempt at the presidency. At 47 years old, Mr Kenneth will be the youngest presidential candidate. He is in the Eagle Coalition with Raphael Tuju.

  • Uhuru Kenyatta is making his second attempt at the presidency after an unsuccessful bid in 2002. The son of Kenya’s first president, Mr Kenyatta is in the Jubilee Coalition with Eldoret North MP William Ruto. The two are also facing charges at the ICC.

  • Prof James ole Kiyiapi is making his maiden attempt at the presidency. He is a former academic and government bureaucrat. His campaign strategy is selling himself as an unblemished candidate.

  • Paul Muite, a pro-democracy advocate in the 1990’s is making his first attempt at the presidency on a Safina ticket.

  • Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi is making his first attempt at the Presidency. In 2002, he was Uhuru Kenyatta’s running mate in presidential election. His presidential bid follows an acrimonious fallout with the Jubilee Alliance.

  • Raila Amolo Odinga is making a third attempt at the presidency after unsuccessful bids in 1997 and 2007. A former political prisoner, Mr Odinga is now in the Cord coalition with Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Minister Moses Wetangula.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Kenya votes

  1. Hope the Kenyans have a peaceful election. True too about the stereotyping of Africa’s elections.

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