Peaceful Elections Only First Step Toward Change in Kenya | Freedom House

Peaceful Elections Only First Step Toward Change in Kenya

Washington

Freedom House applauds the people of Kenya for their peaceful participation in the March 4th general elections and patience during the six-day ballot tally by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). These elections come five years after the disputed polls that led to the death of over 1,100 Kenyans and displacement of over 600,000. There is still work to be done to fulfill Kenya’s democratic promise, and the candidates must lead by example.

The decision by Prime Minister Railia Odinga to challenge the results is his democratic right, but only if he continues to wage this challenge through the judicial system.  Freedom House maintains that the onus is on both Prime Minister Odinga and President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta to restrain their supporters from incitement to violence and to urge them to patiently await the outcome of the legal process.

If President-elect Kenyatta assumes the presidency and control of both houses of Parliament, he must adhere to the constitution and carry out political reforms.  He must also fully cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has indicted him for crimes against humanity for his alleged role in orchestrating the 2007/2008 post-election violence.

A fair and peaceful transfer of power in Kenya will be critical to the development of a more democratic and just Africa.  Freedom House calls on President-elect Kenyatta and all other elected officials to lead with integrity and remain accountable to their citizens.

Kenya is rated Partly Free in the 2013 edition of the Freedom in the World survey, Partly Free in the 2012 edition of the Freedom of the Press survey and Free in the 2012 edition of the Freedom of the Net survey.

To learn more about Kenya, visit:

Freedom in the World 2012: Kenya

Freedom of the Press 2012: Kenya

Freedom on the Net 2012: Kenya

Blog: Kenya's Elections Promise More of the Same

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Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter (freedomhouse). Stay up to date with Freedom House’s latest news and events by signing up for our newsletter.