End of coalition government to enhance accountability:
The opposition will also check on the government’s
excesses unlike in the previous regime where there was
no opposition in parliament
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenyan scholars on Wednesday said that the end of the
country’s coalition government will enhance
accountability in public affairs.
Policy Institute (API) President Professor Peter
Kagwanja told journalists in Nairobi the county’s
democracy suffered a setback due to the impact of
the power sharing deal reached after the 2007 post
new [Uhuru] Kenyatta administration was elected on
the basis on its manifestos and so it will be
judged on how it implements them,” Kagwanja said
during a forum to review the manner in which
democracy was exercised during last month
long event brought election experts from Kenya to
discuss Kenya’s path towards achieving full
opposition will also check on the government’s
excesses unlike in the previous regime where there
was no opposition in parliament,” the head of API
51-year-old Kenyatta was sworn in for a five-year
term as Kenya’s new president on Tuesday, thereby
ending the ten-year presidency of Mwai Kibaki and
the five-year tenure of the coalition government
formed after the bitterly disputed 2007 election.
inauguration followed a Supreme Court ruling on
March 30 that declared his victory over then Prime
Minister Raila Odinga in the ballot on March 4, by a
50.7 percent to 43.3 percent margin, to be
analysts said the relatively peaceful nature of the
election and Odinga’s acceptance of the Supreme
Court’s verdict - as well as the reduction in
uncertainty - bodes well for political stability and
they said Kenyatta will not have the untrammeled
powers enjoyed by his predecessors and will need to
work more closely with the other arms of government,
including the National Assembly, a new Senate and 47
new counties, because of the reforms embodied in
Kenya’s 2010 constitution.
noted that according to the results of the
presidential polls, Kenya is now an inherently two
party state as both the first and second placed
parties or coalitions will be recognized by the
the opposition needs to be loyal to the
constitution so that it is responsible for the
national good,” he said.
scholar said that if holding regular elections was a
sign of democracy then, Kenya would have been among
the most democratic nations in the world as it has
held 11 elections since independence.
that the just concluded elections were held against
a shadow of pessimism created by the 2007 post
an intellectual point of view, they were conducted
in an environment of political uncertainty,” he
noted that if the verdict of the Supreme Court on
the validity of the just concluded presidential
elections would have been disputed than the theory
of anchoring democracy on rule of law could have
the politicians were divided along ethnic lines,
the highest court of the land occupied the
nationalists space as their unanimous decision
indicated,” the API official said.
that since independence Kenya has battled between
nationalism and ethnicity which revolves around the
country’s 42 tribes. “This is global problem of
democracy and there is need to balance the wishes of
both the majority and minority groups,” he said.
Conservative Forum (NCF) Founder Jennifer Shamalla
said that 2013 general elections were a milestone
towards Kenya’s democratization process.
that the exercise was also the most expensive as
voters were required to select leaders on six
elective posts. “Kenya was therefore bold to hold
the elections in one day,” she said.
noted that most of Kenya’s democratic institutions
are a work in progress and should be treated as such
in order to solidify the openness. “Unfortunately,
they are also heavily dependent on donor funds,” she
who is also an advocate, called for the civil
society to continue to be seen as the cornerstone of
that the democracy, Kenya is trying to implement is
based on Western concepts instead of a mix blend
that incorporates traditional governance systems.
founder added that the prospect of violence during
the lections was real due to the proliferation of
small arms in Kenya.
Observation Group (ELOG) Chairman Kennedy Masime
said that contrary to predictions, the elections
were peaceful except for a few areas that
that democracy should not be expensive to
participate. “The idea is to make democracy
attractive so that you don’t disfranchise any
segment of the population,” he said.
chairman decried the use of tribal based parties in
elections. He noted that the civic education that
was carried out before the polls was not only
underfunded but began only a few months to the
reduces the role of party ideologies by denying
the electorate, the chance to vote on policies,”
Masime, who is also the Executive Director of
Centre for Governance and Development (CGD), said.
Kenyatta and Ruto both face (separate) pending
trials at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in
mid-2013, on charges of fomenting widespread
violence after the 2007 election.
analysts said will remain a key source of
uncertainty and could disrupt government
functioning. Although the defendants have promised
to co-operate with the court, the cases will also
complicate foreign policy, as most Western nations
maintain a policy of having only “essential” contact
with ICC suspects.
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