Toward Credible and Legitimate Elections in Kenya: Part II, IFES Assessment Report

Publication Date: 
30 Apr 1997

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This is the third assessment of Kenya's electoral process conducted by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) since 1992, and is to be read as an update to its second report of April, 1996. The purpose of the assessment is to determine the status of Kenya's electoral system immediately prior to the start of a sequence of events that will culminate with the holding of Kenya's second multi-party elections since its return to multiparty politics in 1991. These elections will be held sometime during the second half of 1997. Like the second assessment, the objectives of the mission were to assess the current electoral environment, enumerate the constraints to free and fair elections, and recommend steps to eliminate those constraints. The assessment was funded by the United States Agency for international Development (USAID).

The international context for this year's multiparty elections in Kenya is different from that which shaped the elections of 1992, but the domestic context remains fundamentally unchanged. Domestically, Kenya's political environment is the proverbial glass of water that is simultaneously "half-empty" and "half-full." Though multi-party politics appears to an established fact, and while Kenya is a far more open polity than in the era of one-party rule, Kenya is not yet a democracy and its process of democratization appears to be stalled:

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