Today, a country that constitutes about 48 million people will, for a moment, put away perpetual dilemmas and will have one thing on their minds—elections. For some, the ecstasy that electing leaders brings is priceless. Some inwardly hope for change and others want the incumbent government to retain power. Elections will make known their stance in no uncertain terms, emotions built up over many years will culminate at that point. It is also an opportunity to exercise the periodic rights that citizenry of a nation are charged with as prescribed by the law. Oh yes! It is that time.
Since the last elections in 2013, a lot has happened and challenges have manifested in Kenya. However, election time breeds different challenges altogether including violence and opportunistic crimes as the sense of urgency for the ascension to power reaches an all-time high. Recently, they were allegedly fake news reports from CNN and BBC respectively. A mimic of the BBC’s programme “Focus on Africa” has been circulating on social media in Kenya.
The Odinga and the Kenyatta families have been at it on the political arena for quite some time but, added to them are other contenders—that should flavor up the race for the hot seat. The American-educated incumbent president Mr. Kenyatta—who is also Kenya’s richest man, according to Forbes—will be hoping to retain power as he re-contests.
With the 50% + 1 voting system and polls indicating that the two main contenders—the incumbent and Mr. Odinga—both have support below 50%, it couldn’t be any more tight.
Even though the most recent elections in 2013 were peacefully, history indicates that elections can be volatile periods for a lot of countries. Kenya, itself, was victimized after the 2007 elections when 1,400 people were killed and over 600,000 people were displaced from their dwellings. So situations of this kind can strike a deadly blow therefore, the countries government must be vigilant and put stringent measures in place rather than err on the side of caution.
Results from 290 constituencies will be floated in and the results should then be announced shortly after that by the electoral body in Kenya, as that is the only institution that can declare election results authentic. With no clear-cut favorite, it is bound to make for a good watch.
We should all stand against actions of retrogression and stand to together as the country goes through this election process. When the euphoria dies down, people should continue leading normal lives, and the subsequent defeated parties should refrain from violent acts.
We should all keep in mind that, Kenya is bigger than any person.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Best of Africa.
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