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Kenya election 2013: key challenges to consolidating democracy

Written by Alina Rocha Menocal


'Yes, the Kenyan election is momentous and important... but social transformation and democratic consolidation is not instantaneous. This election is just the first step along what is bound to be a bumpy road to democracy.'

In this interview Alina Rocha Menocal, Research Fellow in the Politics and Governance programme at ODI, discusses the forthcoming elections in Kenya with Sarah Jenkins, Aberystwyth University.

Most countries in sub-Saharan Africa are now electoral democracies. However, their ability to manage multi-party competition and peaceful exchange of power has varied widely. In some places they can spark conflict and undermine the very essence of democracy, highlighting the need for more effective mechanisms and institutions that can channel conflict without resorting to violence.

On 4 March Kenya will hold what analysts have described as perhaps the most significant election in the region in 2013. The effectiveness of measures that have been instituted since the violence of 2007/2008, including a new constitution and transitional justice reforms, will be put to the test.

Alina Rocha Menocal and Sarah Jenkins explore the prospects of the upcoming Kenya elections and argue that despite frayed nerves, progress is being made