Politics of Kenya
Water team
Riley Wingert
Monica Virga
Tim Bryne

Kenya is currently ruled by a democracy. They have an elected President, Mr. Mwai Kibaki and Parliament. The Judiciary system and Electoral Commission have appointed positions. Kenya gained independence in 1963 and Kibaki is the 3rd president. He ran for the office of president two times on the Democratic Party ticket without a victory. In 1998, the Democratic Party became the Official Opposition Party. He was elected President in December of 2002 as a member of the Official Opposition Party. He was then reelected in 2007.
Kenya is still undergoing its transition to a free democracy because there are still many influences from the previous Colonial period leading up to their independence. There is still a great deal of corruption in the system. For example, the president has the supreme authority – he has the power to dissolve the parliament, to appoint High Court Judges and Electoral Commissioners, and to control the federal budget.
The former President Daniel Arap Moi, 1978 – 2002, was instrumental in creating an ongoing ethnic rift in the country. His goal was to retain power and so he aggravated ethnic scars and differences. It appears as though He thought; as long as the people are fighting each other they won’t be able to fight their rulers. The major clash was between the two main ethnic groups, the Kalenjins and Kikuyus. The Kikuyus were major players in the Opposition Party at the time and Moi was from the Kalenjin group. So he basically manipulated tension between them over certain controversial pieces of land. These tensions were broadcast as purely ethnic struggles when in reality it was corruption. In surveys taken after Kibaki was elected show that those claims of devout ethnicity were shaky. About 70 percent of the people showed loyalty to their country, not exclusively their tribe. This shows that the tension was instigated.
Another event of corruption surfaced during the last election. The process and the proceedings of that 27th day of December in 2007 were peaceful but there were some underlying issues that went unnoticed. Kibaki had one very close competitor in the race for reelection, Raila Odinga of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). He won the election but only 47% to 44%. This caused Odigna to call for a recount and sparked many out breaks of violence as the rumors of vote counting fraud spread. Under Kibaki’s first term the Parliament had an Opposition Party majority. But at his reelection, the majority switched to an ODM majority. This was further fuel for the fraud in the election process rumors. Violence broke out and police and other government officials were assaulted by angry mobs. To make it worse, Kibaki made a power-sharing deal with the defeated runner-up, Odigna, but then he later reneged. This caused increased tension in the country between the supporters of both parties which continue today. These tensions affect the poor people in the country. Even though Odigna is portrayed as a people’s president, the poor are still overlooked as the powers that be try to sort out their own issues.
Sources:
http://www.cfr.org/publication/15322/
http://www.statehousekenya.go.ke/presidents/kibaki/profile.htm
http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10415208
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7160920.stm