Kenya elections will be held on August 2022 and it will undoubtedly be the most significant political event.
In a tumultuous region, Kenya’s stability, economic muscle, and diplomatic leadership are more important than ever before. But Kenyan leaders will be increasingly focused more on elections as the day comes nearer. If the electoral circle takes a wrong turn could endanger the country’s capacity to continue playing a critical regional role in the future.
The country’s latest history features hotly challenged, sometimes damaging elections in which candidates and their supporters have used identity politics to divide the electorate and turn Kenyans against one another.
Already, the route to the election has been rough. First, it featured a failed shot to restructure the state and electoral seizures in the form of the Building Bridges Initiative.
Then made a new election law in which they encouraged the knitting together of party coalitions, changing the political landscape months before polling. Already, they have two main candidates for the presidency.
‘Raila Odinga and William Ruto’, who have blamed each other for foul play, such as attempts to disrupt campaign events or accepting dodgy campaign funding.
Odinga is known for his fifth campaign for the presidency. In the last five years, he has gone from the binding “President Uhuru Kenyatta’s” sore opposition to Kenyatta’s preferred successor. Meanwhile, Ruto, who is technically Kenyatta’s deputy and was once the incumbent’s close political partner, is now at odds with the president.
He is running as an agent of change, an outsider in solidarity with Kenya’s working-class despite his recent role in government, his decades as a parliamentarian and cabinet minister, and his substantial fortune.
The liquidity of these political essences, combined with the familiarity of the personalities involved, looks to be breeding some criticism among voters.
The lacklustre response to repeated voter registration efforts signals a distinct lack of enthusiasm among potential first-time voters—a huge cohort in youth-heavy Kenya. Despite a positive growth outlook, many Kenyans are still reeling from the economic devastation of COVID-19 and frustrated by corruption in government.
They need a government that performs and is accountable to them, just as foes of authoritarian governance in the region need more democratic champions that can deliver results. Thus far, the upcoming Kenyan elections do not look like a strong match for the many hopes pinned upon them.