Kenya’s 2002 elections were politically momentous. The new government, made up of coalition forces, has not only paved the way for a new political dispensation that analysts anticipate will set off Kenya’s much needed economic and political reconstruction (Barkan 2003), but most importantly it provides some important lessons for the study of coalition formations in politics. For one, it demonstrated to opposition parties elsewhere in Africa what can be achieved by standing together. The formation of the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) was not a new phenomenon in Kenyan politics. A look at the country’s political history reveals a pattern of political coalitions over the years, made up not only of selected individuals co-opted by then President Daniel arap Moi to serve in his administration, but of political parties uniting for private interests. The formation of NARC, however, is more than short-term political manoeuvring, it was an unprecedented assembly of most of the main opposition parties, with the intention of ousting the Kenya African National Union (KANU) once and for all. As a result, an investigation of both its formation and governing performance six months after the elections seems opportune.
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Categories: Journal of African Elections