Elections in Kenya
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Elections in Kenya in recent years have been cause for violence and fragmentation, such as during the presidential elections of 2007. Though a multiparty democracy since 1992 and holding elections since 1962, the country has serious institutional problems which make it hard for elections to be completed smoothly.
Kenya elects on national level a head of state - the president - and a legislature. The president is elected for a five-year term by the people. The Parliament or Bunge has two houses: the National Assembly and the Senate. The National Assembly has 349 members, 290 members elected for a five-year term in single-seat constituencies, 47 elected Women representatives(one per County, 12 members nominated to represent party strength in the lower chambers and an ex officio speaker. The Senate comprises 67 members: 47 elected senators from each of Kenya's 47 Counties, 20 nominated senators (16 to represent women, 2 to represent youth and 2 to represent people with disabilities)
After negotiation with the British since 1957, the British allowed "one person, one vote" elections in 1963. The first elections went smoothly, electing Jomo Kenyatta as the first president of Kenya in 1964. However, under his leadership, competitive elections slowly disappeared as various political parties either joined or were suppressed by the Kenya African National Union (KANU). This consolidated single-party system would last even after Kenyatta died in 1978, eventually reaffirmed in an amendment to the constitution in 1982 which made Kenya a one party system.
After major political demonstrations in 1990, KANU bowed to public pressure and began reviewing the electoral system. In 1992 the amendment that had maintained a single party system was revoked, returning Kenya to multi-party elections. The constitutional shift did not immediately manifest itself in well run multiparty elections. However, by 2002 the international community thought the electoral system generally free, as KANU peacably transferred power to the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC).
Multi-party elections since 1992
- Kenyan general election, 1992
- Kenyan general election, 1997
- Kenyan general election, 2002
- Kenyan general election, 2007
- Kenyan general election, 2013
- The Electoral Process in Kenya: A Review of Past Experience and Recommendations for Reform (Report). International Foundation for Electoral Systems. 2008. http://www.ifes.org/publication/077c11dc773ce6e94745f7ab711cf11e/IFES%20KENYA%20OSIEA_Aug22_FINAL.pdf.
- African Elections Database
- Adam Carr's Election Archive
- 2008 IFES analysis of Kenya's electoral history titled The Electoral Process in Kenya: A Review of Past Experience and Recommendations for Reform