"I Acted Under a Lot of Pressure": The Disputed 2007 Kenyan General Election in Context
On 27 December 2007 the fourth general elections were held since the democratic opening in the early 1990s. They were widely considered to be seriously flawed and the political crisis in aftermath led to widespread rioting and destruction, with hundreds of fatal casualties and more than a quarter of a million displaced persons.
This paper recounts the controversial events surrounding the administration of the elections, i.e. all phases from voter registration; inspection of the voters' register; nomination of candidates; campaigning; polling; counting and tallying; through to the announcement of results. Above all it consider the wider context of the elections along three main dimensions.
First, the pre- and post-election violence is analysed in terms of its effects on the electoral outcome. Second, the unprecedented volume of campaign financing is scrutinised in terms of sources and effects. Third, an analysis is made of the evolution of the nature of Kenyan politics from an orientation resting on personalities and ethnic loyalties to one of issues and policies. Furthermore, in view of the post-election crisis the aftermath receives special attention with a view to discussing the extent to which the results were ‘doctored' in the final stages of the electoral process. Given the parliamentary composition, some consideration is also given to the difficult relationship between parliament and the executive.
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