3 Major points from Kenya’s election for other African countries

These high points are factors that have poised to determine where political power lies in Africa.

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta (L), flanked by his wife Margaret Gakuo Kenyatta (2-L), speaks following the Electoral Commission's official announcement declaring him the winner of the August 8 election

Restructuring of the country’s political power equation is a more likely outcome. Efficacy and strength of many state and non-state agents/individuals/factors are tested.

The recently concluded Kenya’s election saw the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta with 54% of the vote although, the opposition claimed widespread irregularities.

As great note during this election is emerging factors that came to determine the results and direction of people’s decision. These are high points of the whole process, with the possibility of re occurrence in other African countries.

1. Youth backing/support needed to win Election

One major high point of Kenya’s election is the affirmation of the importance of youth in the political configuration of many African countries. Like most countries in the continent, Kenya is a youthful country, with 51% (9.6 million) of its voters being below 35.

As a result, presidential and gubernatorial candidates worked hard to win the youth votes.

There was the emergence of young members of parliament (MPs) in Kenya like  Simon Muturi, 24, Paul Mwirigi, 23 and Stephen Kipyego, 34. This is expected to inspire other youths in Africa to challenge the current political system, which is dominated by the old.

2. Social media is playing more definite roles in elections

Social media was deployed for political activism in the last Kenyan elections as Facebook, Twitter and other social networks were  heavily optimized used for mobilization of people to vote.

Political parties and politicians moved their engagement programs to  social media in a bid to attract millennial support and votes.

Similar outcomes are being predicted for upcoming elections in other African countries.

3. Independent candidacy becomes viable alternative to party politics

A case for independent candidacy in African elections was made more potent in the last Kenya’s elections.

Independent candidates with no party affiliation emerged victorious. Some of them defeated incumbent political office holders vying for re-election.

Mohammed Ali, a veteran investigative journalist, ran and won as an independent candidate in the Nyali constituency.

Others notable cases are Paul Katana of Kaloleni, Enock Wambua of Kitui and Granton Samboja of Taita Taveta.

Granton Samboja defeated an incumbent, John Mruttu, for the gubernatorial position in Taita Taveta.


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