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Title:Electing the 'alliance of the accused': the success of the Jubilee Alliance in Kenya's Rift Valley
Author:Lynch, GabrielleISNI
Periodical:Journal of Eastern African Studies (ISSN 1753-1063)
Geographic term:Kenya
political parties
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17531055.2013.844438
Abstract:Against a history of a divided Kalenjin/Kikuyu vote and election-related violence, and a contemporary context of high levels of inter-communal mistrust and intervention by the International Criminal Court (ICC), this article explains the Jubilee Alliance's success amongst Kalenjin and Kikuyu voters in the Rift Valley in Kenya's 2013 election. To do this, it examines the pre-election context, election results in Kalenjin- and Kikuyu-dominated areas, local political debates, and election campaigns to reveal how the 'Uhuruto' team persuaded local residents to support this seemingly unlikely political marriage in all six elections. It is argued that the alliance used existing and emergent communal narratives of justice and competition to recast socio-economic and political debates in a way that persuaded the majority of Kalenjin and Kikuyu to support Jubilee - and to vote against Raila Odinga and the Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) - as a way to protect and further their individual and collective interests. In making this argument, particular attention is given to relations between community members, and to popular support and investment in peace; negotiations between Uhuru and Ruto, and Kalenjin 'hosts' and Kikuyu 'guests'; the reinterpretation of the ICC as a performance of injustice; and successful presentation of 'Uhuruto' as a youthful team that could bring about peace and meaningful change as compared with an old, vengeful, incumbent Odinga Odinga. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]