Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Kenya Referendum Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Kenyans will be voting to accept or reject a new constitution. The new constitution is thought to be important in that it limits the power of national politicians and gives more power to local leaders. It creates a commission to manage public land and recognizes Muslim Courts. It also gives Kenyans a bill of rights and creates a senate. The constitution is being backed by both Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga, who ran against in each other in the 2007 presidential election that turned into violence and chaos.

There has been some violence and tension in the months before the election and although the majority of Kenyans are in support of the new constitution, there is opposition, mostly from religious leaders, due to the recognition of Muslim courts and a section about abortion.

If you are interested in learning more about the vote and the new constitution, you can check out these links:

"Kenya Stakes Its Reinvention on a Referendum" (New York Times article)

"Kenya holds its breath on eve of vote on new constitution" (Washington Post article)

"Kenya prepares for referendum" (Al Jazeera video)

A smoothly run vote, transparent ballot counting, and peace following the announcement of the results would be a big step for Kenya. Our employees and friends in the country believe that things will run smoothly tomorrow and we're hoping that no matter the results, everything goes well and everyone remains safe.

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