Kenyan elections: Five reasons to care about the vote

by | Aug 4, 2022 | World

Nairobi, Kenya – On August 9, 22.1 million registered Kenyans will go to the polls to elect the country’s fifth president and successor to the incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta.Even though the focus is mostly on the high-profile presidential contest, across the 47 counties, the electorate will also cast votes for county governors, parliament representatives and other lower-level positions.
Despite not being eligible for election after serving two terms as limited by the constitution, Kenyatta remains centre-stage in the polls. He is backing leading candidate Raila Odinga, his former archrival who is running for the presidency for a record fifth term.
The other main challenger is Deputy President William Ruto, who served two terms with Kenyatta but has since fallen out with his boss after the latter’s reconciliation with Odinga.
Here are five reasons why this election is so hotly contested and what to look out for.
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Economy at stake
One of Africa’s largest economies, Kenya has a thriving technology sector and the World Bank has projected that its gross domestic product (GDP) will grow by 5.5 percent at the end of 2022.
But the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rising cost of food items due to disruptions in wheat supply as Russia continues to invade Ukraine, have affected the economy and increased unemployment levels.
That has led to an increase in the cost of living which could be a deciding factor in the elections, seen as a referendum on the Kenyatta presidency. Ultimately, it could tilt sections of the public away fr …

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