In Summary
  • Thibon also looks at the ICC question in 2013 and presentation of Uhuruto as victims of the international court.
  • The irresistibility of Jubilee after painting a picture of digital leaders falling out with older politicians is superbly explicated, including the Musalia Mudavadi effect that weakened the performance of CORD in Western region.
  • Thibon sees Raila Odinga's 2013 presidential campaign as "less incisive in terms of electoral marketing, political communication and program".

After the 2013 General Election, French and Kenyan academics undertook research through a multi-disciplinary approach to look into the event as it unfolded, including circumstances and factors shaping the electioneering period. This culminated in the book, Kenya’s Past as Prologue:  Voters, Violence and the 2013 General Election.

Reading the book in 2017 eerily raises issues, recommendations, fears and insights that have already taken place in this election cycle.

The book was published by Twaweza Communications and edited by Christian Thibon, Susan Mwangi, Mildred Ndeda and Marie-Aude Fouéré. Different scholars tackle diverse topics that stood out during the 2013 election.

HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF

In “Kenyan Elections: When Does History Repeat Itself and Does Not Repeat Itself?” chapter by Christian Thibon, the ethnic polarisation of Kenyan politics is laid bare, including factors that contributed to Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga’s election outcomes in 2013.

Thibon writes that Kenyatta's narrow victory was largely from his “ability to win over outsider ethnic groups and populations” while maintaining his base, running a highly “mediatised and modern campaign”, particularly aimed at the young population with political marketing to many segments of the Kenyan society from the coastal, Asian populations to pastoralists and winning the Internet battle.

Thibon also looks at the ICC question in 2013 and presentation of Uhuruto as victims of the international court.

The irresistibility of Jubilee after painting a picture of digital leaders falling out with older politicians is superbly explicated, including the Musalia Mudavadi effect that weakened the performance of CORD in Western region.

Thibon sees Raila Odinga's 2013 presidential campaign as "less incisive in terms of electoral marketing, political communication and program".

He also suggests that the failure of de-legitimisation of Uhuruto championed by the civil society in the eyes of the international community had a huge effect on the 2013 presidential outcome and aftermath.

‘GOD’ STRATEGY

With the national day of prayer called on 22nd October by President Uhuru Kenyatta in mind, Hervé Maupeu's chapter on “The ICC, God and the 2013 Kenyan General Elections” is an interesting read.

Maupeu offers that after preaching a discourse of victimisation by the ICC, Uhuruto used a neo-Pentecostal religious register to strengthen their strong strategy of self-justification and repentance and profusely developed a compelling “pentecostalisation of their political life” that contributed to a peaceful election.

OBSERVERS PARTISANSHIP

The issue of election observers has been as controversial as ever, particularly in 2017 with scathing accusations of a shoddy job by Raila Odinga and NASA.

In the 2013 election, the matter was endemic as it is now as observed in the chapter “Role of Election Observers: Diplomatic Bias and the Findings of the Kenyan 2013” by Mwongela Kamencu. The Carter Centre Election Observation Mission, KHRC, EAC, IGAD, COMESA, EUEOM among others were accused of one-sidedness as some opted to be “diplomatic in reporting their observations to maintain the reciprocal relationship between the host state–Kenya–and other member states”.

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