Thursday, January 24, 2008

Learning Lessons from Kenya's Democracy

During this year’s election, Kenyans took voting seriously. Kenyans waited in line for an average of 4-5 hours in order to cast their vote. Some of my friends lined up at 5 a.m. in Kangemi and Kawangware and didn’t put their ballot in until lunchtime. Residents of Nairobi’s slums made enormous sacrifices in order to vote. Many spent nearly a month’s salary in order to travel to their home districts where they are registered to vote. Kenya had record voter turnout and many constituencies realistically reported over 80% participation. The voting process was smooth, orderly, and largely without incident. . .All of this makes the ridiculous corruption, rigging, and manipulation of the Presidential vote that much more difficult to bear. The majority of Kenyans that I speak with are so upset, they say that they will never vote again.

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