21August2017

Home Editorial Kenya held general elections for President

Kenya held general elections for President

Tuesday, August 8 Kenya held general elections for  President, Members of Parliament and Governors. In the current presidential election, two people who had fought in the 2007 elections met again. The  incumbent  president Uhuru Kenyatta, of the Jubilee party is facing  Raila Odinga, representing NASA (National Super Alliance). These two men are well known among the Kenyan population of about 50 million people. Uhuru Kenyatta is the son of Kenya's first president, Jomo Kenyatta. Raila Odinga is the son of Jaramogi Odinga, the first vice-president of the country in the Eastern Africa. No less than former US President Barack Obama whose father came from Kenya, called for a peaceful election in Kenya in 2017.

In 2013, the election,  followed by  both figures had run safely and peacefully until the time of vote counting. The server managed by Kenya's electoral body, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC),  suddenly had a problem so the electoral vote could not be implemented. Calculations were done manually. As a result, Uhuru Kenyatta was declared victorious by the Kenya's electoral body,   with 50.51% of the total votes and got 25% of the votes in 33 counties. Odinga got 43.7% of the total votes and 25% of the votes in 30 counties. The rest went to  Musalia Mudavadi.

Riots occurred after the vote count. Official data say some 1500 people were killed. But unofficial sources mention victims may be 2 to3 times the number. It was not the first time that Kenya got  involved in post-election riots. The previous election of 2007 ended in a two-month dispute. Violence also occurred at that time and more than 1000 people were killed. Indonesian representatives in Kenya then, warned Indonesian citizens to be alert and take refuge in the representative office. It is expected that this general election will be peaceful despite the tension after the murder of an IEBC official. Kenya should not get stuck in a riot like in the two previous elections. Whoever becomes President should be able to lead all Kenyans.

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