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Presidential election in Kenya: end of a campaign dominated by the economic crisis

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Published on: 06/08/2022 – 16:16 The presidential campaign in Kenya ended on Saturday with two major meetings of the main candidates in the capital Nairobi. Three days before a high-stakes election, many challenges await the winner of the election called on Tuesday. Three days before a high-stakes election, the two presidential favorites in Kenya, Raila Odinga and William Ruto, ended the campaign on Saturday August 6 with two mega-meetings in Nairobi. The candidates have thrown their last strength into battle, against the backdrop of inflation and past post-election violence. Called to the polls on Tuesday, August 9, some 22.1 million voters will have to choose the successor to Uhuru Kenyatta, in office since 2013 and unable to run for a third term. They must also elect the deputies and local representatives of the country, considered the one where democracy is best rooted in East Africa. To convince them and end a campaign dominated by the economic crisis and a certain apathy, the candidates invest field. Some roam the streets with sound systems screaming catchy slogans. The two presidential favorites are organizing two mega-meetings in Nairobi. William Ruto, 55 and outgoing vice-president, chose the Nyayo stadium and its 30,000 seats. About fifteen kilometers away, his main rival Raila Odinga, 77 and former opposition leader now supported by power, tried to rock the 60,000-seat Kasarani stadium. “We hope that the next president will improve the economy and the standard of living… We need jobs,” Evance Odawo, a 23-year-old tailor who attended the Raila Odinga rally, told AFP. purchase his workhorse. He presented himself as a spokesperson for the “resourceful people” of the common people, promising jobs when three out of ten people live in extreme poverty on less than 1.90 dollars a day in the country, according to the World Bank.Raila Odinga took as a banner the fight against endemic corruption in the country, ranked 128th out of 180 countries, according to the NGO Transparency International. Both had initially announced that they had chosen the same stadium for this last meeting, raising fears of tensions. struggling to make ends meet” in the face of “empty promises” Inflation, which soared to 8.3% in July, and soaring prices for fuel and basic foodstuffs, however, appear to have dampened this year’s l ‘election turmoil. “Economic conditions have been tough for Kenyans who have barely had a chance to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,” political analyst Zaynab Mohamed said in a note released Thursday. by the British firm Oxford Eco nomics. “Many Kenyans are struggling to make ends meet and say they don’t let themselves be fooled by empty promises from politicians,” she said. Economic issues could, according to some experts, supplant the tribal vote. The latter has always been a key factor in Kenyan voting booths. While the campaign has sometimes been virulent on social networks, incidents have been rare in the streets. Some 150,000 officers must nevertheless be deployed on election day across the country to ensure security. Kenya, “anchor point for democracy” in the region In this country of 46 tribes, the elections gave rise to disputes, sometimes violent. In 2007-2008, more than 1,100 people died in politico-ethnic clashes and hundreds of thousands were displaced. The results in the country are also regularly contested in court. In 2017, the Supreme Court annulled the election – a first in Africa – and called for a new ballot. In recent weeks, there have been many calls for calm from civil society and the international community. of embassies, including that of the United States, thus pleaded on Friday August 5, in a joint press release, for “free, fair and peaceful” elections in Kenya. Because this country is the “anchor point for stability, security and democracy, not only in the region, but also on the continent or throughout the world”. The Electoral Commission (IEBC) assured that it had put in place the necessary safeguards to prevent fraud and manipulation and deal with any technical problems. With AFP

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