Electomatic Political News

Gossiping The Elections, The Policians & The Electorates

Kenyan elections happened yesterday – and people keep asking “Oh i hope you are safe” etc … that is much appreciated but just to put things straight:
Kenya saw a bit of rioting and battles with police, but it was constrained to 4-5 specific small areas, nobody in 99,9% of Kenya were in any danger from anything beyond overeating goat-bbq´s 🙂
All the international journalists are of course stationed at these trouble spots and as such you will see pretty wild pictures in newspapers around the world – but only a tiny fraction of Kenyans could actually take such a photo … here in Kahawa Sukari there are more cows grazing and students dancing to reggea than rioters (indeed we havent had a single one of the latter, just like almost everywhere else)
Tomorrow new reports of riots and fights with police will be in the headlines. That is because postponed elections are held in exactly those areas where there were trouble yesterday. But again, it will be in those 4-5 areas
The political situation? Well. The August 8 election had an 80% turnout and president Uhuru won re-election with around 54% of the vote. The Supreme Court annulled the election due to irregularities – however, those irregularities represented what looked like less than 100.000 voters maximum, and the president won by 1,5million votes. The main reason for annulment seems to have been the electoral commission, the IEBC, going to court trying to battle the petitioners as enemies rather than actually acting like an electoral body with an election to have verified. So, the IEBC refused to adhere to the Supreme Court order to let the election servers be examined and results verified, they made ridiculous claims like “We cant contact server support as Europe is sleeping and some servers are in France” (time difference is 1 hour). So, IEBC made it look very much like they had something to hide – even though the election itself looked credible … and thus the court ruled to annul the election.
That led to the new election yesterday which by every measure was much less credible than the August 8 one. The main opposition leader Raila Odinga withdrew prior to elections and called for a boycott, thus basically cancelling any credible race (but also shortfusing the process without giving any alternative) and:
– Electoral commisioners resigned prior to the election
– The supreme court failed to rule on the 26th election due to one of the supreme court justices being shot at the night before the ruling
– 5000+ polling stations failed to open (often due to harassment)
– Only about 30% of voters turned out
– The president won by 98%, as he was the only active candidate
– Voters in some areas were harassed for voting or into not voting
So. Now we have a much less credible election, lending little legitimacy to a president-elect presumably with almost 100% of the vote – but based on a turnout of only 30% (the head of the electoral commission bizarrely claimed that 6,5mio votes out of 19mio registered voters equalled 48%…it makes one wonder more about his competence than about the actual turnout number).
Right now it is all posturing, fist-fights between members of parliaments and outragious statements from leaders on both sides (An opposition leader just compared Kenyan police to nazis committing genocide and intending a holocaust … 3 people died in running street battles which was tragic, but comparing it to 7mio people deliberately killed because of who they were is simply idiotic)
Anyway. The likely way forward is back to the Supreme Court and maybe a negotiated coalition government with representatives from both sides. The alternatives? The Supreme Court could validate yesterdays election, but itd look severely strange to validate an election much inferior to August 8 – or they could call yet another election … lets hope for a negotiated solution.
PS: Below is a photo from elections in Lake Naivasha.
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Kenya’s General Elections for President and other positions will be held on Tuesday August 8th 2017. Kenyan politics is seeing the excitement and tension is building up towards that day, especially with regard to the Presidential election. The key to Kenyan politics will likely be found in the struggle between Uhuru Kenyatta vs Raila Odinga. Yet again.

One of the expected candidates is the incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta, who will be vying for a second term. Mr Kenyatta was declared the winner of the 2013 elections, after his main rival, Raila Odinga, disputed the results of those elections and filed a suit in the Supreme Court of Kenya. The Supreme Court upheld the declaration of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in as President a few weeks later.

President Kenyatta is expected to run on the recently formed Jubilee Alliance Party – a party formed out of the coalition of parties under which he vied for presidency in 2013. Mr William Ruto, the Deputy President, is expected to be his running mate once again.

Kenyan Politics - Uhuru Kenyatta sworn in as President of Kenya

Kenyan Politics – Uhuru Kenyatta sworn in as President of Kenya by Kiprutokelvin

Raila Odinga – The Eternal Contender

Many people believe that the 72-year-old Raila Odinga will again be running for president – for the fourth time. Mr. Odinga and his political party, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) have joined other political parties to form what they have called the National Super Alliance (NASA). ‘Nasa’ also means ‘to seize’ or ‘capture’ in Swahili, Kenya’s national language, and the opposition has declared their determination to capture the Presidency this year.

There are a number of other notable political leaders in NASA, and it is yet to be known who among them will eventually be the coalition’s presidential candidate.

Raila Odinga Supporters marching. Kenyan politics are set for another clash between Raila and Uhuru Kenyatta

Raila Odinga Supporters marching. Kenyan politics are set for another clash between Raila and Uhuru Kenyatta By DEMOSH

The 2007 Election Violence

Mr. Kalonzo Musyoka, 63, is the leader of the Wiper Democratic Movement. He also served as Vice President from 2008 to 2013. He was a presidential candidate in the 2007 elections, and after those elections, he was appointed vice president, even as the country was engulfed in violence as the opposition disputed the election results that declared Mr, Mwai Kibaki the winner of the Presidential race.

This violence eventually led to the current President, Uhuru Kenyatta, and his Deputy, William Ruto, (the two being in opposite political camps at the time) being brought, with others, to the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity. The cases against them were eventually dropped due to lack of evidence.

Mr. Odinga, who believes he was the actual winner of the 2007 elections, was appointed Prime Minister in April 2008 in a power-sharing deal with Mwai Kibaki.

Turmoil in Kenyan politics 2007-2008 came close to civil war after the 2007 elections in Kenya

Turmoil in Kenyan politics 2007-2008 came close to civil war after the 2007 elections in Kenya By DEMOSH

The New Kenyan NASA Alliance

Another NASA leader, Mr. Musalia Mudavadi, 56, is the leader of the Amani National Congress. He once served as Kenya’s Vice-President of Kenya for a brief two months around the time of the 2002 General Elections. He was also a presidential candidate in 2013 and he came third.

Mr. Moses Wetangula was born in September 1956, and is currently the Minority Leader in the Senate. He is also the leader of the Ford Kenya party and one of the principals, alongside Mr. Odinga and Mr. Musyoka, of the CORD coalition (Coalition for Reforms and Democracy) that took part in the 2013 elections.

There are also a few other people who have declared their interest in the presidency, such as Nairobi lawyer and former Public Prosecutor Mr. Philip Murgor of the United Democratic Movement and Dr. Ekuru Aukot, former member of the Committee of Experts on Constitution Review that worked on Kenya’s 2010 Constitution.

Kenyas opposition NASA alliance leaders hoping to end Kenyatta presidency

Kenyas opposition NASA alliance leaders hoping to end Kenyatta presidency By Jpmudavadi

Kenyan Politics – Tribalism vs Ideology

Kenyan politics, to a significant extent, is based on tribal affiliations. Presidential candidates usually get major support from the areas largely inhabited by their ethnic communities. It is likely that tribal arithmetic will play a significant part in the 2107 elections, but there are also emerging voices of opposition to this approach. A number of people in their forties and younger, are declaring that supporting a candidate based on tribe does not benefit them, and they would rather vote in competent leaders from whichever tribes.

For example, there has been a strike by doctors serving in public hospitals, which resulted in their union leaders being jailed for a few days (for failing to call off the strike). The fact that the doctors come from various ethnic backgrounds and have stood together for their cause may be seen by some as an indication that the tribal mindset may be weakening among the younger generation.

As the elections near, it is expected that the opposition will continue to point out the various failings of the government as a reason to vote out the ruling party, while the ruling party will cite their own various achievements as a reason to vote them back in.

Only after NASA declares its official presidential candidate, and after the whole field of candidates is known, and as the elections near, will it be possible to make educated guesses on what the main issues will be and what the likely election outcomes are.

Raila Odinga supporters

Raila Odinga supporters By DEMOSH

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