Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • In pictures: Debris and devastation at Air Algérie Flight AH5017 crash scene

    Read more

  • Kerry heads to Paris for new round of Gaza peace talks

    Read more

  • Video: No investigation apparent at site of downed Malaysian plane

    Read more

  • Washington Post correspondent and his wife arrested in Iran

    Read more

  • Paris bans new Gaza protest scheduled for Saturday

    Read more

  • Tour de France fans bring the ambience to the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

Africa

Partial results show majority vote in favour of new constitution

Video by William EDWARDS

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-08-05

Kenyans approved a new constitution on Wednesday according to partial results showing that 65 percent of voters backed new rules circumscribing presidential powers, curtailing political patronage and increasing civil liberties.

AFP - Kenya looked set to acquire a new constitution for the first time since independence as the "yes" camp Thursday confortably led in the vote count after a referendum that belied fears of renewed violence.
   
With counting still under way, no victor was yet declared by the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) but the "yes" camp of President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga had a clear lead.
   
With 12.4 million registered voters in the country, a turnout roughly estimated by polling officials at around 70 percent would mean the "yes" camp needs around 4.3 million votes to secure victory.
   
The latest provisional figures early Thursday showed it already had 4.1 million votes to the "no" camp's two million, confirming the trend that emerged in pre-referendum opinion polls.
   
Kenyan papers did not wait for official results to argue that the peaceful polling offered closure two and half years after a bloody election dispute and that the new constitution opened a new chapter.
   
"The traditional mayhem that has preceded and accompanied successive general elections was a distant memory buried by the orderly queues yesterday," The Standard daily said in an editorial.
   
A dispute over the results of the December 2007 elections erupted in bloodshed that killed 1,500 people, destroyed public trust in the institutions and shattered Kenya's image on the international scene.
   
But reconciled 2007 rivals Kibaki and Odinga have campaigned together in favour of the new constitution which introduces more robust safeguards for democracy and human rights.
   
The peaceful voting and speedy tallying were a stark contrast to the chaos that arose from the confusion and mismanagement that characterised the 2007 counting process.
   
Politicians refrained from declaring prematurely Thursday but definitive results were expected later in the day.
   
Odinga nevertheless told AFP when he cast his ballot on Wednesday morning that he had no doubt his pro-constitution camp would "win resoundingly".
   
Voters went to the polls amid fears, stoked by a deadly grenade attack on a "no" rally in Nairobi in June, that disagreement over the constitution could again plunge the country into violence.
   
But police had deployed some 70,000 security forces across the country, with particular emphasis on the northwestern Rift Valley, where opposition to the new constitution has been the strongest.
   
"The referendum exercise was held in a peaceful manner, there has been no single incident at all," national police chief Mathew Iteere told AFP.
   
Jostling ahead of the 2012 presidential poll has led William Ruto, a cabinet minister, to spearhead the campaign against the new constitution despite being one of its main authors.
   
Supported by dozens of Kenya's influential churches, the "red" camp has made tempers flare by painting the new constitution as legalising abortion, selling off the justice system to Islam or even considering gay marriage.
   
Members of Ruto's Kalenjin tribe also fear that new land policies could see their power curtailed.
   
"The people who have fuelled the question of land are the Kalenjin elite led by the former president (Daniel arap Moi). These are guys who have big farms whose acquisition is still questionable," said Ken Wafula, director of the Edloret-based Centre for Human Rights and Democracy.
   
"These are people who have fear and are playing the ethnic card," he said.
   
The amendment does away with the post of prime minister created for Odinga in 2008, creates a senate, devolves a degree of power to counties and slaps a number of checks and balances on the president.
   
It is also designed to curtail patronage and rein in the greed that has characterised Kenyan politics, notably by requiring that the entire cabinet be composed of ministers appointed from outside parliament, and limiting their number to 22, less than half the current level.

Date created : 2010-08-04

  • KENYA

    Kenyans vote in referendum on new constitution

    Read more

  • KENYA

    Six killed as twin blasts hits Nairobi political rally

    Read more

  • KENYA

    ICC prosecutor in Nairobi to probe post-election violence

    Read more

COMMENT(S)