An Ethnically Divided Society: How Centripetalism Failed in Kenya in the 2013 and 2017 Presidential Elections

Authors Irungu Kang’at, Duncan Ojwant

ISSN: 2521-2613
Affiliations: (PhD Candidate) University of Nairobi; Senior Lecturer Africa Nazarene University, Dean Africa Nazarene University
Source: Africa Nazarene University Law Journal, 2018, p. 57 – 65


High and low intensity ethnic conflicts have engulfed Presidential elections in Kenya since the re-introduction of multiparty democracy in early 1990s, except for the 2002 elections. After the high intensity ethnic conflict surrounding the 2007 Presidential elections, a grand coalition government was established in Kenya in 2008 and the same was embedded in the then Constitution. Thereafter the said government enacted a new Constitution in 2010. Two Presidential elections have since been held (the 2013 and 2017 elections) and ethnic conflict with respect to Presidential elections has persisted. This article thus seeks to evaluate the extent to which centripetalism failed in Kenya in the 2013 and 2017 presidential elections, taking into account the ethnic divisions in the country.