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Kenyan Vote Held Valid

2007 election violence flared in western Kenya. Click map to enlarge
The Kenyan Supreme Court on March 30, 2013, declared the election of Uhuru Kenyatta valid, clearing the way for his inauguration on April 9.

Kenyatta's opponent, Raila Odinga, had contested the March 4 results, alleging that Kenyatta gained his narrow 8,000-vote victory through fraud. But the Court upheld the results, and Odinga conceded his loss.

Kenyan Winner Charged

Kenyatta's victories in the election and the court case present implications for international law. Kenyatta and his running mate, William Rota, are both facing charges before the International Criminal Court. They are accused of leading violence in the wake of controversial presidential elections in 2007. About 1,200 people from rival tribes were killed.

Now the interational community is faced with the problem of dealing with an elected head of state and government who is facing an arrest warrant for crimes against humanity committed against the population he has been elected to rule and serve.

Kenya's History of Election Conflict

But, on another note, the 2013 election was relatively calm, in stark contrast to the 2007 plebiscite which spawned the lethal violence. News outlets reported two deaths in demonstrations in Kisumu. Kisumu is the hometown of Odinga and was in the region of much of the 2007 violence.

Kenya is faced with continued contradictions of disparate wealth and income. Kenyatta, the son of the country's first president, is Kenya's richest man, with vast land and business holdings. But as a whole, Kenyans suffer poverty rates greater than 30%.

Kenya's Economy Has Large Trade Deficit

Kenya suffers from a trade deficit. In 2011 it exported $5.85 billion in products, chiefly coffee, tea and spices ($1.4 billion) and live trees and other plants ($0.5 million). It exported $3 billion in services, mainly for transportation and travel, often associated with tourism.

However its product imports exceeded $15 billion, including $4.1 billion on oil and fuel, $1.4 billion on machinery and $1 billion on electrical equipment.


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