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Kenya Electoral Crisis

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  1. Introduction
  2. The political conflict
  3. Raila Odinga's call for a revote
  4. Discussing the issues
  5. Issues within Kenya that helped allow the violence to plateau to a new level
  6. Maintaining short term stability
  7. Conclusion

The ethnic divisions in Kenya normally remain dormant until election time politics polarizes the population behind certain candidates. The Kenyan crisis of 2007-2008 followed a recurring pattern of tribal violence that has happened throughout the states recent history, and then brought it to a new plateau. The situation evolved from electoral results of December 28th 2007 that have been labeled ?dubious' by domestic and foreign observers alike. The results favored a Kikuyu politician (Mwai Kibaki leader of the Party of National Unity) that would outrage the other ethnic factions in Kenya who had thrown their support behind Raila Odinga and the Orange Democratic Movement.

[...] The electoral commission of Kenya, currently appointed by the President needs to be taken out of the Presidential jurisdiction and become an independent commission, and the same applies for the appointment of judges. Kenya has gone through a very destabilizing time and for now is in an interlude of relative calm, however without the proper actions from here on end it is entirely possible for the fragile state to fall back into the chaos it so recently escaped. In order to maintain short-term stability the power-sharing agreement needs to be put in place in an agreeable fashion to both parties until another election is able to occur. [...]

[...] If Kenya's infrastructure was more stable (or when it is in the future) and the recently created commission exploring electoral and human rights abuses links either of the politicians or members of their parties to illegal practices, then legal sanctions should occur. The land issue that has plagued Kenya since the end of colonial times is an issue that is hard to solve. While the Kenyan poor see it as a source of survival, it does not create wealth; to bring up land reform and redistribute it to other tribes would be an injustice to the Kikuyu landowners who are not truly that much better off than the other tribes[22]. [...]

[...] Immediately after the election Raila Odinga would call for a revote, however the electoral commission of Kenya would dismiss evidence of vote rigging. No investigation into the matter would occur until Kofi Annan's arrival and subsequent creation of an independent committee to explore the issue[10]. On January 6th 2008 Odinga states that he would also listen to a type of coalition type settlement when African Union Chair John Kufour was supposedly to visit Kenya[11]. Both Kibaki and Odinga agreed that the violence in Kenya needed to cease. [...]

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