Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Milestone Elections in Kenya

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Milestone Elections in Kenya

Article excerpt

Regarding the Opinion page article "Stung by Opposition Gains, Kenya Regime Returns to Politics of Intimidation," Jan. 26: The author's critical demand for the donor countries to withhold much-needed aid until President Moi hands over power to FORD-Kenya, is unconstitutional and offensive to all who support the rebirth of multiparty democracy in Kenya. The Dec. 29 multiparty elections were an important step in Kenya's march toward pluralist democracy. The opposition lost because it failed to unite behind a single candidate. All of the observers who monitored the election agree that, despite some flaws, the election was a milestone.

More important, the Kenyan people are now looking to their newly elected leaders to bring about economic and political changes for the benefit of all Kenyans. To ask that the Kenyan people give up these gains so that FORD-Kenya, which finished third in the presidential election, can run the country insults the Kenyan electorate's right to choose.

If Paul Mutua were truly serious about strengthening democracy in Kenya, he would instruct the opposition members of Parliament on how to operate as an effective opposition rather than encourage the personal ambitions of some of their leaders. Perhaps Mr. Mutua should urge the opposition to put their house in order and to prepare for the next general election in five years. William N. Meda, Washington Embassy, Republic of Kenya The forgotten Armenia

Your editorial "Armenia's Extremity," Feb. 8, is a welcome breakthrough in the conspiracy of silence which the Western media have been maintaining for quite some time, so as not to hurt the tender feelings of our cold-war ally, Turkey.

Armenia is not a third-world country; it can survive on its own. It still maintains its technological and industrial infrastructure, and, unlike other republics of the former Soviet Union, Armenia has been able to maintain its internal stability, its march toward democracy, and its conversion to a market economy. …

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