Kenya to Elect New President

Photo: AFP/Getty Images [via The Guardian]

The Facts

  • In Kenya, East Africa's main economic hub, more than 22M registered voters were called on Tues. to elect the country's fifth president since independence, as well as a new parliament and county governors.

  • While four candidates are running for office, current Deputy Pres. William Ruto and serial presidential candidate Raila Odinga are reportedly locked in a tight race to succeed Pres. Uhuru Kenyatta.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

Kenya's presidential elections, in which candidates compete democratically while the incumbent president leaves office as required by the constitution, are an impressive testimony to a vibrant democracy. The two term limit - which protects democracy and stability - along with a peaceful transfer of power, would see this election serve as a model for the entire region.

Establishment-critical narrative

As in many places around the world, "democracy" in Kenya has become a mere symbolic electoral act that lacks the hard political work needed to actually improve people's lives. This election is no exception; it's merely a facade in which corrupt representatives of the people take the stage.

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