The definition of democracy on the continent has been restricted to holding elections. Many African leaders forget that protests and online dissent is very much part of democracy. Elections are just a part of democracy, and democracy entails a full spectrum of economic, social and political freedoms, which include citizens’ rights to protest and express their voices and concern.
The Supreme Court of Kenya has upheld the results of the October 26 elections, setting stage for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s swearing in on November 28.
The nullification of the August 8 elections in by the Supreme Court of Kenya, was celebrated as a welcome precedent and Liberia has followed suit. The Liberian Supreme Court suspended the run-off election scheduled to take place on November 7, citing irregularities in the first round of elections that took place on October 10. The move is been applauded as a step in the right direction to ensure free, fair and credible polls.
Kenya’s Supreme Court will once again be the centre of a likely lengthy legal battle following the recent re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta with opposition leader Raila Odinga refusing to accept the result. In his victory speech President Kenyatta who was declared winner of the poll with 98 percent of the vote said he expects his re-election to be challenged in the courts. The country remains in a precarious situation as it remains uncertain how the political crisis will unfold and if will be peacefully resolved.
In the past Africans have been commended for conducting elections free from violence. The Kenyan elections have raised the standard, elections must be credible. The Kenyan case highlights the need to develop transparent and inclusive electoral codes, independent electoral commissions while strengthening the voting systems in the various African countries.