While I would normally be somewhat pleased to see institutions like USIP, the Wilson Center, and IFES pause to take stock of a recent election, I am, as I have previously stated, a bit fatigued by the excessive focus that Kenya’s elections have generated (it almost seems that the Kenyan elections have more staying power than militants in the Sahel).
It looks like I may not get to a single Africa event this week (not that there is much going on). If any readers were at the Horace Campbell event at Busboys and Poets last night (I can’t believe it, but I don’t think I’ve covered a Busboys and Poets event since launching Africa in DC), I welcome your thoughts. On Wednesday, IFES will be discussing “Lessons Learned from Kenya’s 2013 poll“. The main speaker is the Chair of Kenya’s electoral commission (he must be in tight with IFES as I heard him speak there about a year ago), which makes the event pretty interesting.
However, I wonder why more people are not talking about, as Johnnie Carson might say, the consequences of Kenya’s election. I suspect Kenyatta’s election will have significant adverse consequences for the legitimacy of the ICC. Perhaps to further draw my ire, the Africa blog of the Wilson Center published a piece yesterday detailing ‘lessons learned’ from Kenya’s elections. I hope that some of these lessons learned will be discussed in the Zimbabwe context (why is DC not thinking about that election???) Kenya’s elections were also marked by a host of new local governance structures resulting from the devolution of state authority following the adoption of new constitution. I hope someone will consider this aspect in the conversations as well. Finally, while I’m not a Kenyan watcher, it seems to me that the elections did nothing to undermine the country’s ethnic cleavages.