The Kenyatta Election: Kenya 1960-1961

The Kenyatta Election: Kenya 1960-1961

The Kenyatta Election: Kenya 1960-1961

The Kenyatta Election: Kenya 1960-1961

Excerpt

The value of an election study must lie in certain measure in the speed with which it appears, that it may still seem closely relevant to all concerned. Accepting this, the writers, one a historian and an Englishman, the other a political scientist and an American, pooled their differing approaches, intending that their report should go to press within six weeks of the election of the National Members on 16th March. Although the end of a lengthy electoral process which had begun with the first nominations on 6th January, this proved not to be the end of the story. The new Government was not formed until late April. The negotiations for this revealed much about Kenya and the elections, which it was clearly essential to include. The book eventually went to press in mid-June. Thus judgments made here must necessarily have even more of a provisional character than was originally intended.

Whilst this was a General Election and whilst there were certain unifying features, the different races and communities of Kenya are sufficiently separate for it to have appeared sometimes as at least five different elections. The writers had thus to pass from one community to another, from one atmosphere to another. In all this, and in the stress of an election, it remains worthy of note that they were received everywhere with remarkable kindliness.

For this generally friendly reception the writers would like to thank all concerned, particularly the politicians of all racial groups who were most generous with their time in the midst of a hectic campaign. The authors would also like to acknowledge with warm thanks the unfailing friendly help of a large number of busy civil servants, both in Nairobi and in the districts, as also the kindness of the Kenya Government which permitted access to the administrative files relating to the election, which was of particular value for Chapter III. The Kenya Government and the officials concerned bear, of course, no responsibility for anything there or elsewhere in this study. The comments are those of the authors alone. They have striven to preserve impartiality in a country in which they were but . . .

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