From the foot soldier’s perspective: The Kenyan elections 2013 from an election observer’s viewpoint.
Chapter 2: Raila’s Nomination
In the memory of the brief civil war of 2008, which followed on the elections in December 2007 (also called ‘Post Election Violence’ or ‘The Kenyan Crisis’), the elections of 2013 were highly anticipated and feared at the same time by the Kenyan people. Would the country return to be a peaceful democracy or would an even bigger civil war and genocide come over the country?
In a bureaucratic ritualistic exercise, each of the presidential aspirants had to present their papers to the IEBC.
Copies of birth certificates, passports, certificates of good conduct, all had to be delivered in public to the IEBC. Of course, all those had been checked before already by the IEBC, it was rather to add some formal relevance to the official kick off of the election exercise. It reminded me of a fashion often observed in former colonies, whereby the descendants of the former colonial subjects, seem to have an urge to outdo the bureaucratic rituals of their former colonial masters.
For a minute, there was an air of tension in the room, when the commissioners were scrutinizing Raila’s birth certificate a bit too long. Would they… could they… dismiss him as a non-Kenyan?
They did not, of course. It seemed rather to be a part of the ritual, to add an extra thrill to the exercise.
Though, Raila cried! Once he held the presidential election nomination certificate in his hands, he seemed to be overwhelmed by emotions. The Statesman he is, he disciplined himself quickly. And outside, the media and the masses were waiting anxiously!