Primary Elections in Kenya’s Ruling Party Ends in Chaos

Mark Babatunde April 24, 2017
Supporters of Jubilee Party in Kisumu argue over a list of officials endorsed to run for. Photo credit: Daily Nation

Election primaries in Kenya’s ruling Jubilee party ended in chaos on Friday, after sporadic fighting erupted in different election venues across the country.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta blamed the clashes on a larger than expected voter turnout, reports the BBC.

The election primaries in most parts of the country were reportedly characterized by a lack of voting materials and election irregularities, prompting a massive cancellation in at least 15 of the 21 counties where elections were held.

Voting is now expected to be held on Monday and Tuesday, with Mr. Kenyatta urging for calm and patience as the party prepares to repeat the vote in the affected areas.


Kapsaret MP Oscar Sudi (centre facing camera) tries to separate fighting delegates during the Jubilee Party elections for Uasin Gishu County to elect interim officials held at Boma Inn Hotel in Eldoret town on December 14, 2016. Photo credit: Daily Nation

Election primaries in the ranks of the opposition have been no less contentious since voting in the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga was equally marred with scenes of violence, especially in its western Kenya stronghold.

President Kenyatta is seeking re-election for a second 5-year term in office. His party is a mega-party formed last year from a merger of at least 12 smaller parties to consolidate his support base.

In response, the opposition has formed the National Super Alliance (NASA), a coalition of smaller parties that is expected to name its presidential candidate later this week.

The primaries are coming ahead of the August 8th general elections, when Kenyans are expected to vote for a new president, county governors, and members of parliament.

In 2007, no less than 1,000 people lost their lives in the aftermath of an orgy of violence that greeted a much-disputed general election result.

The violence prompted condemnations from the international community and led to a range of reforms. Elections in 2013 were, however, relatively peaceful and held with no major incidence.

Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: June 19, 2018


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