Kenyan general election, 1988

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General elections were held in Kenya on 21 March 1988. At the time, the county was a one-party state with the Kenya African National Union as the sole legal party. The size of the National Assembly was expanded from 158 to 188 seats, whilst a further 12 members were appointed by President Daniel arap Moi.[1]


In February 1988 a new system was introduced for the primary elections of KANU candidates. The mlolongo or queue system involved party members lining up behind photographs of their preferred candidate.[2] In a country of 20 million people, 4,528,480 were KANU members, and there were accusations that the mlolongo system resulted in voter intimidation and fraud during the primaries.[2] Beyond, a church-based magazine was banned after it condemned the public voting as "a mockery of justice."[2]


Party Votes % Seats +/–
Kenya African National Union 2,231,229 100 188 +30
Invalid/blank votes 33,152
Total 2,264,381 100 188 +30
Registered voters/turnout 5,562,981 40.70
Source: IPU


At the first meeting of newly elected Assembly in April 1988, Fred Mbiti Gideon Mati, who had been Speaker since 1970, resigned, and the National Assembly elected Moses Kiprono arap Keino as his replacement.


  1. ^ History of the Parliament of Kenya Parliament of Kenya
  2. ^ a b c In One-Party Kenya, Election Is Questioned New York Times, 24 March 1988]