Kenyans head to the polls

The World

Just six months after Kenya was mired in violence from an election, Kenyans are heading back to the polls. In one region it’s to replace an MP who was shot dead in the last election’s violent crisis. This is a candidate for ODM, the faction associated with Odinga’s followers. She says there will not be violence is the elections are open and fair. These by-elections are the strongest test yet of the fragile coalition government that was forged after the election crisis. Odinga and his coalition partner, Kibaki of the PNU, were bitter rivals in the December elections and are fielding candidates against each other again. The campaigns have tended to be nasty and some are worried about that. The Vice President and ally of the PNU says the coalition can withstand the strain. And yet minutes earlier he had made a campaign call to strengthen the PNU’s voice in the coalition. For many Kenyans where they were last winter is where they remain today, and this refugee camp is still very full. Many say the government has done nothing to help them restart their lives. getting through these by-elections without violence would be a big step towards repairing fractures in the country.

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