On Monday, Kenya will hold its first presidential elections since 2007, when its vote resulted in months of tribal violence. Since then, a couple of things have changed: Kenya introduced a new constitution with a checks-and-balances system, however, its adoption is still going slowly. Meanwhile, the country has been ridden by a severe famine as well as violent ethnic conflicts. The country’s leaders are aiming to achieve a peaceful election this year but recent outbreaks of violent and a tight race
have activists worried that peace is not guaranteed.
One of the presidential candidates, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, faces charges at the International Criminal Court for promoting violence after the 2007 elections. Despite this, Kenyatta is seen as one of the front runners in this election.
Take a look at these photos that show Kenya’s path from its first to second presidential election:
Supporters of the Orange Democratic Movement tear down a poster of Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and head of the ruling Party of National Unity, Dec. 24, 2007 during the last day of campaigning in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi ahead of the Dec. 27 Presidential elections. A young boy walks away from burning buildings after throwing sewage water on a fire, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2008 during riots in the Mathare slum in Nairobi, Kenya. Post-election violence had killed more than 275 people, including dozens burned alive as they sought refuge in a church.
AP Photo/Riccardo Gangale
Displaced people with their belongings gather in the town of Burnt Forest, Kenya, Jan. 4, 2008. Kenya’s opposition party had called for a rerun of the country’s disputed election, as political deadlock between the president and his chief rival dragged on after a week of spiraling violence. Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, second from left, and opposition leader Raila Odinga, third from left, shake hands after signing a power-sharing agreement following weeks of bitter negotiations on how to end the country’s deadly post-election crisis, in Nairobi, Kenya, Feb. 28, 2008. Security personnel drag away a Kenyan journalist as Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki’s delivers his speech during Independence Day (Jamhuri Day) celebrations in Nairobi, Dec. 12, 2008. During the event, a number of Kenyan journalists were removed while protesting against a contentious media bill, which critics say is intended to limit press freedom. The government had banned all live broadcasts for several weeks, during the violence after the 2007 election citing national security.
AP Photo/Riccardo Gangale
A child with Obama’s name painted on her face seen at a mock inauguration party held in Kenya on Jan. 20, 2009 to celebrate the inauguration of American President elect Barack Obama in Washington DC. The election of a black American president stands as a symbol of unity. The country is still torn between competing ethnic groups and the older generations still remember the injustices of colonialism. Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki prepares to sign the new constitution into law, in Nairobi, Kenya, Aug. 27, 2010. African leaders including indicted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir joined tens of thousands of Kenyans as a new constitution was signed into law that institutes an American-style system of checks and balances on power. Kenyans demonstrating against members of parliament who quietly awarded themselves a $110,000 bonus for five years of service, near the parliament building in downtown Nairobi, Oct. 9, 2012. Kenya’s 222 legislators currently make about $120,000 a year, one of the highest pay packages in the world relative to what their constituents earn—around $5 a day for the average Kenyan. Security officers walk away as a man mourns next to the bodies of his wife and daughter, who were gunned down outside their home as they attempted to escape attack from suspected Orma raiders their village, Jan. 10, 2013. The raiders set more than 20 houses on fire in the village of Kibusu and killed at least 10 people as the Tana River County ethnic clashes erupted yet again. Demonstrators set up burning tire roadblocks to protest the results of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) primary elections, in the town of Ahero near Kisumu in western Kenya, Jan. 20, 2013. Political parties in Kenya held their internal elections to decide candidates who will vie for gubernatorial, senate, and county seats in the upcoming March 4 elections, a process which was fraught with irregularities, disorganization and disgruntled losers. A young boy rolls an old bicycle tire with a wooden stick as a game, in Mawingu camp for the internally-displaced, near Ol Kalou, in central Kenya, Feb. 10, 2013. Residents at the camp have been living there in makeshift tents since they were displaced from their homes following post-election violence in 2008.
AP Photo/Nation, Joan Pereruan
Eight Kenyan presidential candidates stand during the second-ever presidential debates held at Brook House School Nairobi Monday, Feb. 25, 2013. Two children stand outside their tin-shack house plastered with election campaigning posters in the Mathare slum of Nairobi, Kenya on February 26, 2013. In recent weeks, in Nairobi’s most dangerous slum, Mathare, dozens of tin shack homes have been burned to the ground and some families are moving into zones controlled by their own clans.