In March 2013, Kenyans went to the polls for the first time under a new constitution adopted in 2010. The previous elections, in 2007, had resulted in violence that killed 1,000 and internally displaced over 600,000 people. Given this history, the relatively peaceful recent elections have been hailed as a success story in the mainstream Kenyan press, and by foreign observers as a demonstration of admirable restraint and maturity by the Kenyan public and its politicians. If the numbers are accurate, the voter turnout of over 86 percent would be the highest in the history of the country.
However, some analysts see the elections as the triumph of a cynical and corrupt brand of politics and a failure for justice. The elections brought to power president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate William Ruto, who have been indicted by the ICC for crimes against humanity in the post-election violence.
In this presentation, Rawlence, who is currently on sabbatical from Human Rights Watch, discusses how the ICC charges are playing out in the domestic political context and the disconnect between the promise and reality of the election. Kunda Chinku, of the Open Society Justice Initiative, moderated the discussion.