On 9 August 2022, Kenyans participated in one of the most competitive elections in the country’s history: elections for the President, Deputy President, County Governors, Senators, Members of County Assemblies, as well as Women Representatives. After a legal battle launched by the Azimio Coalition, challenging the election results, the Supreme Court, on 5 September 2022, ruled to uphold the victory of William Ruto. He was officially sworn in as President of the Republic of Kenya on 13 September 2022.
Kenya’s August 2022 elections recorded the lowest voter turnout in 15 years. While the 2017 general election recorded a voter turnout of 79.51%, only 65.4% of the 22.12 million registered voters cast their ballots. 39.84% (8.8 million) of the total registered voters were youth, a decline of 5.17% from the 2017 figures. This low voter turnout strongly indicated voter apathy, particularly among youth.
This Kenyan election, like others before, was vulnerable to the weaponisation of social media and the internet by the political class and their supporters. While the internet’s wide reach and the ubiquity of social media provided unparalleled opportunities to engage with and empower voters, they also facilitated the spread of dis- and misinformation, hate speech (specially targeted at female political aspirants), undermined trust in democratic institutions, and sowed societal distrust.
Kenya Post-Election Review Roundtable | 10 & 11 November 2022
The Kofi Annan Foundation and the Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD-Kenya), with the support of the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF), are convening a post-election review roundtable, bringing together election observer missions (local and international) and key election stakeholders to discuss and agree upon the common issues that arose during the Kenyan elections and draw up key recommendations and lessons learnt. The findings and recommendations from this roundtable will add to a growing body of literature on the Kenyan election system’s problems and how best to resolve them.
The roundtable discussion will span two days. The first day is dedicated to highlighting the main challenges based on the election observation mission reports, exploring options for institutional reforms, and examining the elections from a human rights and inclusion perspective. The second day focuses on the role of political parties, media, fact-checkers, and tech platforms. Participants can register for one or both days, but each day must be registered for separately.