Opportunities and Challenges of Ensuring Stability in Kenya’s 2017 General Elections

Author
Charles Nyuykonge, Nonjabulo Buhle Mazibuko
Content Type
Policy Brief
Institution
The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
Abstract
With Africa having steadily begun the litany of elections billed for 2017, the orderly manner in which Somalia’s elections took place restored a glimmer of hope in those who think only the worst for Africa’s democratic and electoral maturity. With over 20 elections scheduled to take place before December 2017, the African Union Commission (AUC) has identified potential fault lines across Kenya’s election processes, and those in Liberia, as sites for election-related violence. Accordingly, among other things, the AUC has trained approximately 50 long-term election observers to be deployed to Kenya, Liberia and other states – based on empirical evidence that these particular cases could be cause for concern. This Policy and Practice Brief (PPB) examines the prospect for a peaceful election in Kenya, and offers insights on what can be done to mitigate any possible election-related violence. With respect to the state of readiness of election management bodies (EMB), the Supreme Court and the government to deliver credible elections, this PPB examines and brings to light challenges that could potentially trigger election-related violence, with the view to make recommendations on how to mobilise key stakeholders to invest in supporting local and under utilised institutions or existing processes and practices capable of mitigating election-related violence. Some of these stakeholders are critical in ensuring the identification of conflict triggers, forewarning about them and preventing their escalation to national crises and conflict. Civil society organisations (CSOs), regional and international organisations should, in the build-up to the 8 August election, effectively co-ordinate their pre-assessment field visits to Kenya so as to identify potential options to avert the likelihood of election-related violence in the country.
Topic
Conflict Prevention, Political Violence, Elections, Democracy
Political Geography
Kenya, Africa, Liberia, Somalia