OpEd: The importance of free, fair and peaceful elections in Kenya
The Importance of Free, Fair and Peaceful Elections in Kenya
By Eric W. Kneedler, Chargé d’Affaires, ai, Embassy of the United States of America
As Kenya recently made political party nominations, it reminded me of the great power and responsibility that those lucky enough to live in democracies hold. It is the power to determine the fate of a nation and the responsibility to do so peacefully through the ballot box. Having spent over four years in this beautiful country, I know Kenya’s future is boundless and rooted in a commitment to freedom, democracy and respect for the rule of law. I have seen Kenya live up to this commitment as it sits on the UN Security Council and promotes peace in the region and the world. I also saw this commitment in action at President Biden’s Democracy Summit, where Kenya pledged to fight authoritarianism and corruption and defend the individual freedoms our democracies seek to protect.
As a longtime friend of the Kenyan people, the United States is committed to supporting Kenya on its path to democracy. The next phase of this journey begins with free, fair and peaceful elections. The United States has no preferred candidates or biases, but we have an abiding interest in supporting the democratic process and the constitutional right of all eligible Kenyans to vote. To support this goal, we invest in Kenya-led programs to improve electoral accountability and transparency, strengthen civic education, protect human rights and promote peace. As President Biden has said, preserving and strengthening democracy is “the defining challenge of our time,” and the United States is committed to working with like-minded partners to revitalize democracy around the world. .
Regardless of what Kenyan voters decide on August 9, the United States looks forward to finding ways to deepen our strategic partnership with the people of Kenya at all levels, including our economic relationship for the mutual benefit of both countries. . We will continue to strengthen our common fight against extremism and terrorism. We will also maintain investments in education, agriculture, environmental protection and public health programs to save lives and help Kenya become self-sufficient. We know that to go far in our journey towards greater peace and prosperity, we must walk together.
Kenya has made significant democratic progress since independence, and the world will watch with anticipation as Kenyans show the strength of their democracy on election day. A peaceful election that reflects the will of the Kenyan people will further strengthen Kenya’s role as a cornerstone of democracy. Likewise, a peaceful transition of power will allow Kenya to reach new heights as a regional and global leader as we seek to tackle the challenges of our time together.