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Kenya election controversy increasingly likely

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Significance

Opposition leader Raila Odinga and supporters of his National Super Alliance (NASA) have long since lost faith in the capacity of the IEBC to deliver a free and fair election and have regularly alleged that the ruling party plans to steal the vote. Opposition supporters claim Msando was killed because he was determined to ensure that the technology designed to prevent electoral fraud worked -- his murder lends credibility to Odinga's narrative that the process is being undermined from within. With only a week until the election, attention is focused not on political platforms but on the potential for voter fraud or a contested result.

Impacts

  • Electoral controversies and the delegitimisation of the electoral commission increase the risk of post-election violence.
  • Widespread ethnic clashes on the scale of 2007-08 are unlikely due to heavy deployments of state security forces.
  • Political instability, even if limited, will deter tourism and investment, hurting short-term economic growth.
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