difficult-choicesOn Saturday Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner of Kenya’s presidential election, surpassing the required 50% total of votes by a slender margin. This means that the country is in for interesting times in the immediate future, given that Kenyatta is currently on trial before the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity alleged to have been committed by him in the aftermath of the last presidential elections.

Firstly, there is the upcoming challenge to the election results by the runner-up, Raila Odinga. Opinion polls prior to the election suggested that Odinga was the most likely winner, albeit by a narrow margin. Kenyatta’s win was well outside the bounds of expectations, and Odinga’s party allege foul play. The particulars of the alleged foul play are unclear, given that so far there has been little evidence impugning the integrity of the voting process.

Next there is the challenge of how other countries react in dealing with a president who is an alleged perpetrator of crimes against humanity. The Kenyan public were well informed about the allegations against Kenyatta, yet a majority of them seem to have voted for him. It will be interesting to see whether Western countries seek to impose some sort of sanctions or adopt a pragmatic approach, perhaps ultimately letting Kenya’s culture of impunity continue.

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