Ethnicity and/or Issues? The 2013 General Elections in Western Kenya

It is often assumed that Kenyans vote on the basis of ethnic identification
rather than the socio-economic and political issues affecting their lives.
However, experience from earlier elections shows that issues and interests
are important drivers in giving form and expression to identity politics.
This article examines the interaction between ethnic identification and issue
differentiation in the March 2013 general elections in Western Kenya by
identifying factors that influenced the outcomes in the six simultaneous
elections. The article is based on observation, interviews and data collected
in a survey of four constituencies inhabited by Luo- and Luyia-speaking
people in Western Kenya during the campaign period and immediately after the elections. The study suggests that while constituencies may have
voted as a bloc along ethnic identification lines – especially with respect
to national politics and the presidential election – their choices were also
differentiated and informed by specific issues, especially at the county and
constituency levels.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: ethnic census, ethnic violence, IEBC, Western Kenya
journal of african elections vol13 number 2 transparent democratic governance in africa