The Carter Center’s initial summary analysis of the August 8, 2017 elections and the subsequent repeat polls conducted on October 26 shows that the two events intensified ethnic divisions in the country.
Consequently, the Center in a statement has urged the country’s political leaders to engage in constructive dialogue to bridge the gap between the opposition and ruling parties, and their respective supporters, following a tense electoral period. “In the days ahead, it is incumbent on political leaders to put personal agendas aside and take steps to heal the country while maintaining the country’s constitutional order,” read the statement sent to newsrooms today.
The carter Center observed that Kenya’s fresh presidential election, unfolded in a context of heightened tensions stemming from the protracted electoral process, confrontational tactics and harsh verbal attacks by key political leaders, and outbursts of violence around Election Day.
“These problems severely undermined the ability of Kenya’s electoral and judicial institutions to implement the fresh presidential elections,” said the statement sent by the Center’s Communications Director, Soyia Ellison.
It further said that rather than consolidating support for a national political program, the election polarized the country and exposed the deep tribal and ethnic rifts that have longed characterized its politics.
“Regrettably, the actions of Kenya’s political leaders served to weaken its democratic and independent institutions, constrain the ability of citizens to participate in the civic affairs of their country, and damage the nation’s democratic development,” the Center further observed.