Joh Kufor, Presdent of Ghana, flew out of Kenya after failing to persuade President Kibaki to engage in meaningful negotiations with opposition leaders. There is no doubt vote manipulation was common in the past election and no time was allowed between the final vote tallies and the hurried installation of Kibaki as president to ensure vote tallies were accurate. The Orange Democratic Movement has promised to organize countrywide demonstrations against Kibaki’s illegal government. Former UN head, Kofi Annan, also from Ghana is organizing a delegation of prominent African leaders to serve as a force for mediation.
Kibaki is digging in his heels because he knows the vote is a fraud. Over twenty of his own ministers lost their seats in parliament, but he continuals to insist his vote count was accurate. His only offer is some type of “dialogue” but for which purposes, he alone knows. It may well be necessary to impose sanctions and force Kibaki to accept mediatioin from fellow African leaders.
It would be wonderful if African leaders displayed as much interest in democracy in Zimbabwe where Mugabe makes Kibaki come across as a leader of democracy.
International mediation efforts to resolve the electoral fiasco in Kenya that was caused when President Kibaki blatantly stole the election have collapsed. Ghana’s Presdidnet John Kuffour left the nation after being unable to secure cooperation from Kibaki to end the impasse and work toward peace. A government spokesperson for Kibaki said President Kuffour had merely come in order to have a cup of tea with their leader. The opposition Orange Democratic Movement had offered several compromises but all were declined by Kibaki. Despite international suggestions he invite members of ODM to serve in an interim cabinet, the head of Kenya insisted only his loyal supporters would be given places in the cabinet.
Samuel Kiviuti, head of the Electoral Commission admited there was evidence of fraud. In one example, h original vote from the Juja area indicated a vote tally of 48,293 for Kibaki and that was the figure ready to be sent in, but somehow the figure was altered to indicate a vote of 100,390 for the president even though no name appeared as signing the new document. The only people suffering are the people of Kenya.
Kenya conducted a democratic election which was supposed to produce a president who had clearly gained a majority of the vote. Unfortunately, there are widely different vote results at this point in time. The opposition party, the Orange Democratic Movement, claims the vote results are 4,215,000 for its candidate Raila Odinga and 3,715,000 for the incumbent President KIbaki. However, the Election Commission is offering a different set of numbers claiming the vote is 3,880,000 for Odinga and 3,842,000 for President Kibaki. There are some reports of violence in Nairobi although, overall, the election was conducted in a fair manner.
One problem about the Election Commission results is that at least 20 top level ministers in the current government were defeated for seats in parliament. Ordinarily, when a government suffers such dramatic loss among its top leadership it is indicative that the electorate is voting for the opposition. The nation of Kenya waits anxiously for final figures and if they reveal a victory for President Kibaki, one can expect justifiable complaints from the opposition.
The nation of Kenya is experiencing a free election in which an opposition candidate apparently will gain the most votes and oust the present leader, President Kibaki. Unofficial results indicate that Alia Odinga, who once was a political prisoner is surging ahead with about 57% of the vote compared to Kibaki’s 39%. If Kibaki loses he will become the first Kenya leader to be ousted from office since the nation obtained its independence in 1963. At the parliamentary level, Odinga supporters are expected to obtain about 31 of 41 seats already decided. The fight against government corruption was an important theme of the Odinga candidacy and results indicate that vice-pesident Moody Awori has also lost his seat together with several other members of the cabinet.
The good news is a fair election took place and someone was defeated and will now leave office. This is the process all nations must experience. We Americans first had the experience in 1800 when John Adams left quietly and Thomas Jefferson became the first opposition candidate to gain office. Congratulations to the people of Kenya.