Officially: Republic of Kenya; Jamhuri ya Kenya.
Seat of government: Nairobi.
Status: Questionably democratic.
Structure: Parliament consists of the National Assembly (with most members elected in geographical constituencies, and additional women members elected in the counties) and the Senate (with most members elected in the counties, and additional women members nominated proportionally). The president is directly elected.
Governing party: Jubilee Alliance (National Alliance; National Rainbow Coalition; United Republican Party; Republican Congress).
Head of government: Uhuru Kenyatta, NA, president.
Other parliamentary parties: Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (principally the Orange Democratic Movement, led by Raila Odinga; Wiper Democratic Movement, led by Kalonzo Musyoka; and the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy – Kenya, led by Moses Wetangula); Amani Coalition (United Democratic Forum Party; Kenya African National Union; New Forum for the Restoration of Democracy – Kenya).
Recent history: The autocratic rule of Daniel arap Moi (1978-2002) ended with the overwhelming NaRC victory in parliamentary elections, and the defeat by Mwai Kĩbakĩ of the designated successor to Moi, Uhuru Kenyatta, son of first president Jomo Kenyatta (1964-78), and expected to be Moi’s proxy. Moi’s retirement ended the forty-year rule of KANU. Kĩbakĩ’s governance was flawed, though, and often autocratic itself. He had promised to propose a constitution that devolved his own powers; in the end he proposed a constitution with a strong presidency, and it was rejected in a 2005 referendum. He then dismissed the government. The original opposition to KANU fractured; meanwhile, Moi and Kenyatta both endorsed Kĩbakĩ for reelection, standing for the new Party of National Unity. According to official results for the 2007 presidential election, Kĩbakĩ was reelected over Odinga, standing for the ODM (named for the opposition ballot symbol during the 2005 referendum); while the vote itself seemed to be free and fair, the count was falsified, and Kĩbakĩ refused to redress the problem. Concurrent parliamentary elections saw a majority of incumbents defeated, including numerous ministers. Post-election violence led to nearly a thousand deaths, and eventually (2011) Kenyatta’s indictment by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. After the election, Musyoka of ODM-Kenya (now WDM) was made vice-president. The PNU and the ODM eventually agreed to form a unity government, with Odinga as prime minister, and the cabinet divided evenly to represent parliamentary strength. In 2010, a new constitution was proposed, and then passed by referendum, that limited the powers of the presidency. In general elections in 2013, Kenyatta and Odinga were the two main contestants for president, and their coalitions the two main contestants for parliament. Kenyatta and his Jubilee Alliance officially placed first for both, and Odinga’s CoRD again disputed the results. ICC charges against Kenyatta were dropped when his government refused to provide requested evidence.
FH: 4-3, partly free (not democratic). Econ: 4.79 (103), hybrid.
Updated: 2015 February 20.