Kenya’s Momentous Year Ahead
Kenya faces historic challenges in the year ahead. Most immediately, it will hold national elections in March 2013, the first since the violent aftermath of the 2007 polls left over 1,000 Kenyans dead and created lingering uncertainties about the country’s democratic trajectory. At the same time, a new constitution enacted in 2010 aims to fundamentally reconfigure Kenya’s political framework and, if fully implemented, devolve power away from a highly centralized executive.
A longtime human rights and democracy activist, Willy Mutunga was appointed Chief Justice of the Kenyan Supreme Court in June 2011 through an unprecedented public recruitment process. Justice Mutunga will have a pivotal role to play in confronting the challenges that lie ahead. As Chief Justice, he has sole authority ultimately to certify as free and fair the national election results, and will be a critical player in the political reform process and transformation of the judiciary.
The CSIS Africa Program hosted Justice Mutunga for a discussion the upcoming election process, the broader context of political reform, and a possible role for the international community in supporting Kenya’s democratic progress.