Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Kenya's Confusion the Troubled Elections Should Be Watched Closely

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Kenya's Confusion the Troubled Elections Should Be Watched Closely

Article excerpt

As friends of democracy, we hailed the decision of the Kenyan Supreme Court in September when it nullified the results of a presidential election due to voting irregularities. It seemed to be a rare case of an African judiciary wielding corrective power over the executive branch of government. Unfortunately, conditions for a legitimate election process have eroded greatly since that time.

Kenya has one of the better functioning democracies on the continent, but its stability is now threatened. Following the cancellation of the election result, the nation scheduled a new vote on Oct. 26. The second election was marred by even more irregularities than the first.

The opposition candidate, Raila Odinga, withdrew from the campaign two weeks before the October poll, claiming the new vote would not be fair. He encouraged his supporters to boycott the election. So, even though the current president, Uhuru Kenyatta, won both tallies, the turnout by voters dropped from 80 percent in the first poll to 34 percent in the second. …

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