Kenya Leaning Towards YES Vote as Results Come Pouring In
So far, the past few months I’ve been covering The Republic Of Kenya’s Constitutional Referendum campaign and process. This is potentially one of the biggest political steps towards growing as a democracy that Kenya can take in the longest time, and they seem to be leaning towards voting YES to accept the new proposed Constitution.
Currently, voting has ended in all regions of Kenya for the August 4th vote (keep in mind there is a 7 hour difference forward from EST in all regions of Kenya). The votes are starting to be tallied and the results will be known fully in the coming hours/days.
This is important for the United States because it would help ensure that Kenya grows as a democracy and could become a potentially large partner in Africa. The Obama Administration has been supportive of the YES campaign, and VP Biden has made visits to Nairobi to meet with Kibaki and other leaders to discuss matters of the referendum.
As of right now, the vote tally significantly favors the YES team (those wanting the to keep the proposed Constitution). There is a 63.8% to 36.2% lead in the YES teams favor with 8,911 polling centres reporting their numbers
20:30: IIEC announces provisional results for the referendum vote, of the 8,911 polling centres counted so far. 1,745,633 for Yes (63.8 per cent) and No with 990,088 (36.2 per cent). Total votes 2,735, 721
20:25: Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni strolls into the auditorium adorned in a cream suit and a matching cowboy hat, cream as well. Former KNCHR chair Maina Kiai lives to his legendary African attire, this time dressed in a Nigerian Agbada, notes Walter Menya.
20:19: Technical hitch in the display of results now enters the first hour. No explanation forthcoming from the IIEC. It is now about 20 minutes from the earlier promised 8:00pm press briefing. The display was supposed to have resumed 20 minutes ago – Nation’s Emeka-Mayaka Gekara
Source: The Daily Nation
What to watch for:
Voter fraud. As it was clearly seen in the 2007 Presidential Election, voter fraud was a horrible occurence and ultimately led to a violent uproar with thousands dying. Political decisions are a big deal in Kenya and expect some bloodshed (unfortunately) no matter what. I’ll keep posting updates when they materialize.
This is a big step for Kenya, and for the US supporting Kenya. The constitution, though possessing many flaws, does have a lot of potential to be a big stepping stone toward a solid democracy. The bill of rights in the proposed constitution are very solid and law a framework that will certainly benefit the people of Kenya.
THE BILL OF RIGHTS
Part 1—General provisions relating to the Bill of Rights
19—Rights and fundamental freedoms
20—Application of Bill of Rights
21—Implementation of rights and fundamental freedoms
22—Enforcement of Bill of Rights
23—Authority of courts to uphold and enforce the Bill of Rights
24—Limitation of rights or fundamental freedoms
25— Fundamental Rights and freedoms that may not be limited
Part 2—Rights and fundamental freedoms
27—Equality and freedom from discrimination
29—Freedom and security of the person
30—Slavery, servitude and forced labour
32—Freedom of conscience, religion, belief and opinion
33—Freedom of expression
34—Freedom of the media
35—Access to information
36—Freedom of association
37—Assembly, demonstration, picketing and petition
39—Freedom of movement and residence
40—Protection of right to property
43—Economic and social rights
44—Language and culture
47—Fair administrative action
48—Access to justice
49—Rights of arrested persons
51—Rights of persons detained, held in custody or imprisoned
Just to give you an idea of what it entails, for further reading the google doc detailing the constitution in its entirety is here.