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Democracy in Africa: The Kenyan constitutional referendum

Democracy in Africa: The Kenyan constitutional referendum


Alan Masakhalia Wanga analyses the referendum, which was organised in Kenya last year. We are proud to publish this report about democracy in Africa.

In 2007–2008 a political, economic, and humanitarian crises erupted in Kenya after incumbent President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner of the presidential election held on December 27, 2007. Supporters of Kibaki's opponent, Raila Odinga of the Orange Democratic Movement, alleged electoral manipulation. This was confirmed by international observers.

Violent Rampage and ethnic violence escalated. At least 1,300 people died and hundreds of thousands were displaced during almost three months of bloody battles between rival tribes following the December 2007 poll.

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan brought the two sides to the negotiating table. On February 28, 2008, Kibaki and Odinga signed a power-sharing agreement called the National Accord and Reconciliation Act, which establishes the office of prime minister and creates a coalition government.

The peace deal that ended the crisis mandated that the constitutional question be revisited, which led in November 2009 to a new draft. After minor modifications and the passage of the draft through parliament, the referendum date was set for 4 August 2010.



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