Hillary Clinton’s six-nation tour of Africa brought her to Kenya over the weekend. As expected, she discussed governance and next year’s elections with government and civil society representatives.
The U.S. secretary of state’s main message was true to her agenda: Various sectors of Kenya’s society must work together to make sure the elections in March are free, fair, transparent and credible. Kenya, she said, must avoid a repeat of the unrest and violence that followed elections in December 2007, which triggered clashes between supporters of President Mwai Kibaki and his main opponent Raila Odinga over alleged election fraud. The crisis ended with a power-sharing deal brokered by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan that saw Odinga’s appointment as prime minister.
Clinton drew on personal experience to help drive her message home: “I have won elections and I have lost elections. And when you lose an election and when your supporters see you lose and election, it’s important that they have to see that the process was fair. And that’s what we hope for here for our friends in Kenya.”
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