Update– the Associate Press reports “Analysts: Political Party Polls in Kenya a Failure”:
Political party primaries to select candidates for Kenya’s March national elections have been fraught with irregularities, disorganization and disgruntled losers, increasing the chances of conflict during the upcoming vote, analysts said Friday.
That’s bad news for those trying to avoid a repeat of what happened after Kenya’s 2007 elections, when a dispute over who won the presidency led to weeks of violence that left more than 1,000 people dead. The primary voting this week did little to instill confidence that officials are ready for another national vote.
. . . .
Kennedy Masine, an official of the local Election Observer Group, described Thursday’s attempt to hold nominations as a “phenomenal failure.” . . .]
I’ve now finished an initial reading of the ICG report released yesterday entitled “Kenya’s 2013 Elections.” It’s an important resource for two key reasons: 1) it is strikingly up to date for this kind of thing, with lots of new information, including footnote references for events even this week; 2) it is relatively comprehensive, covering a lot of ground in substantial detail. It gives fair, sober assessment of the status of the major areas of reforms that were identified as needed in the wake of the disaster in 2007-08. I hope it will be updated quickly once things shake out further with the primaries over the next few days.
In fact, you could take this report and prepare a “grade card” for implementation of the “reform agenda” over the course of the Government of National Unity. Without being cynical or fatalistic, it would simply have to be quite low so far. Regardless, by gathering a lot of the information that a lot of us have been thinking about in various areas in one place, the report could also be used as a road map to realistically “play to strengths” in the terms of the existing Kenyan institutions and develop last minute contingency plans and “gap fillers” in those areas where reforms and preparation are clearly going to be getting an “incomplete”, such as policing. Surely it is clear by now that there need to be plans in place for how to provide extraneous security support beyond the Kenya Police Service in the event of a crisis triggered by major failure of the election itself.
An interesting point of reference is the NDI Kenya Pre-Election Mission of May 2012, to see what has been accomplished and not accomplished in the meantime.
- Warnings to Take Seriously for Kenya’s March Election . . . and something to enjoy (africommons.com)
- Protestors give Kenyan MPs ‘State funerals’ (capitalfm.co.ke)
- Kenyans Expect More From U.S. President With African Roots (npr.org)
- “And the beat(ings) go on . . .”; as 2007 bleeds into 2013, what would it take for Human Rights Watch and others to make Kenyan politics less deadly? (africommons.com)