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Published: Thursday, 3/14/2013

Kenya votes

Kenya's last national elections, in 2007, were marred by fraud and cost more than 1,000 lives in violent rioting that followed. In this month’s vote, Kenyans again largely backed candidates based on tribe, not on other issues. But this round seems to have come out all right.

The newly elected president is Uhuru Kenyatta, son of Jomo Kenyatta, the father of Kenyan independence. The current prime minister, Raila Odinga, finished second.

There were problems. The results had to be tallied by hand, delaying the announcement of the results. Mr. Kenyatta and his running mate stand accused before the International Criminal Court in The Hague of having organized part of the 2007 post-election violence.

Kenyans generally continue to vote on the basis of candidates’ tribal origin. That problem still needs more time for the country, which has been independent since 1963, to get past. Yet it is a solid achievement for Kenya to have conducted this vote virtually without bloodshed. That is progress, and Americans who wish Kenya well should be glad for it.



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