The Electoral Process
As the 1988 elections had showed, a new electoral system could alter the political process significantly. Queue voting for Parliamentary and local government elections had forced voters to reveal their preferences, and facilitated widespread abuses. A system which for 20 years had provided legitimation through open primary elections lost much of its popular support. Already the Saitoti Commission had inspired the abolition of queuing. Now the electoral system had to be revised and updated to permit fair competition between national parties, something not seen since Independence.
In the summer of 1992, however, although KANU had committed itself to a multi-party election, the procedures governing it were unclear and KANU's ability to decide them was an important political weapon. The fairness of the procedures, consequently, became a point of contention between the government and an unstable alliance of opposition politicians and Western diplomats. Under pressure, the government and the Electoral Commission were forced into a series of concessions which made the electoral process more evenly balanced than they would have wished, but which still could not guarantee the freedom of the subsequent polls.
The Kenyan Westminster-style electoral system, established in 1963, divided the country into single-member constituencies in which all adults could register to vote, while candidates could stand in any constituency. On top of this had been overlaid the Presidential system, in which candidates for the Presidency were also directly and independently elected. No Presidential ballot had ever been held, however, leaving many uncertain as to how the process would work in the multi-party era. The selection of Presidential, Parliamentary and local government candidates had at independence been left entirely to the parties, but the development of the single-party state in 1964 meant that party caucuses would select MPs, eliminating voters from the process. The emergence of the KPU in 1966 compounded the problem, since the choice of an unpopular KANU