World Culture Research Assignment Africa: Kenya Election (Term Paper Sample)
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World Culture: Africa
The Kenya election has been in headlines for the better part of 2017. Ever since Kenya attained its independence from Britain 1963, the country has been experiencing deep political divisions. It was not until 1992 that the first multiparty elections took place. In the country, most of the general elections have been characterized by allegations of rigging and ethnic violence. Kenya is a political democracy, and the elections follow the framework of a presidential system. The president, the members of the national assembly, senators, women representatives, governors, and county assembly members are elected on the day of the general election that takes place once every five years. If the winner in the presidential election does not win more than 50% votes, a rerun of the top two candidates is done. In addition, in the case the presidential election is nullified by the country's Supreme Court, a new one is organized within 60 days. The new constitution promulgated in 2010 was set to guide the country particularly in the political processes. However, the 2017 general elections exposed a looming constitutional crisis. The 2017 generation was characterized by violence, rigging allegations, and the nullification of the presidential election. This paper examines the Kenya's political history, election environment, and the circumstances underlying 2017 elections.
Kenya's political and electoral history defines most of the aspects of the 2017 elections. The 2013 and 2017 general elections in Kenya involved a member of the Kenyatta family contesting against a member of the Odinga family. About half a decade ago, the two key figures in Kenya's political environment were Jomo Kenyatta and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. Fast forward to 2013 and 2017, the two popular candidates were their sons. Jomo Kenyatta was the country's first president and founding father, Oginga was its first vice president. Although they worked together, the resignation of Oginga revealed the rift that existed between the two. This political history is what led the stiff competition between Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga. Therefore the rift between these two political heads today originated about a half a century ago between their fathers.
A significant issue that characterizes elections in Kenya is ethnic divisions. The fathers were of different ethnicities; Kenyatta was a Kikuyu while Oginga was a Luo. This is likely the beginning of the ethnic rift that is exist in the country. In a country that is made up of 42 distinct tribes, one would expect a little ethnic rift. However, in the case of Kenya, particularly in elections, members of the population are completely divided along ethnic lines with the Luos and Kikuyus exhibiting extreme hatred against one another (Bichachi). They are divided majorly on their choices during the general elections. There are not other specific issues that the electorates are divided on. The candidates, particularly the presidential ones, are the source of the ethnic divisions in country. According to an article by Bichachi, Kenyans hate on each other based on one's last names. It is important to note that the last names of the members of the population identify the tribes they belong to. As described by Bichachi from the perspective of a Kenyan, “we practice our hate for each other on a daily, we are angry on our roads, we judge and laugh at each other based on our last name and we prevent marriages based on tribe...” The author also notes that the citizens of the country are selfish and it is this selfishness that has contributed to tribalism and eventually corruption among leaders. The selfishness among the members of the population makes them want a member belonging to thei...
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