Kenya’s 2013 Elections: Choosing Peace over Democracy

Issue Date July 2013
Volume 24
Issue 3
Page Numbers 140-155
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In March 2013, Kenyans took to the polls in what turned out to be another disputed election. Unlike the 2007 elections, however, the 2013 elections and their aftermath were relatively peaceful. Yet a series of crucial mistakes by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission cast doubt on whether the election was, in the parlance of election-observer missions, “free and fair.” Rather than foreshadowing a new institutional equilibrium, the relative peace of the 2013 election may simply reflect a temporary alignment of fortuitous circumstances.