Kenya shows maturity at the polls


(eTN) – The harsh lessons taught after the last general elections showed results, when Kenyans went to the polls for the first time since those ill-fated days to cast their vote over a new proposed constitution.

Initial results from Nairobi indicate that a two-thirds majority voted in favor of constitutional reform while a mere one-third of the voters rejected the draft. The new constitution, following this overwhelming endorsement by Kenyans, is due to be enacted soon, and even proponents admit that there are flaws in the draft framework but these can be resolved as Kenya moves on under the new supreme law.

What is most noteworthy was the maturity shown at the polling stations and when counting the ballots, as nowhere across the country were any serious incidents recorded. Kenyans lived for weeks in fear after the last general elections and government was well prepared this time through visible security forces present in known political hot spots, ultimately not necessary as none of the two camps showed any appetite to once again resort to violence in order to “change” results.

The losing “no” camp has already let it be known that they will respect the outcome, although they have accusedthe “yes” camp of using state resources to tilt the results in their favor. But the clear two-thirds majority result awaiting Kenyans waking up this morning is clear enough and was not likely influenced by “dishing out favors,” as alleged by the defeated opponents of the new draft constitution.

These developments are good news for the Kenyan tourism industry and were also greeted with relief by the hinterland countries, which depend heavily on the constant flow of supplies from the Indian Ocean port of Mombasa by rail and road. Senior tourism stakeholders, in view of the still outstanding confirmation by Kenya’s Electoral Commission, greeted the projected results with relief but were not yet willing to go on record until the final results had been formally issued.