News / Africa

Kenya to Begin First Presidential Debate

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki (R) registers as a voter before launching the nationwide, one-month biometric voter registration (BVR) exercise in the capital Nairobi, November 19, 2012, targeting over 18 million voters ahead of the March 4 General Election.Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki (R) registers as a voter before launching the nationwide, one-month biometric voter registration (BVR) exercise in the capital Nairobi, November 19, 2012, targeting over 18 million voters ahead of the March 4 General Election.
x
Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki (R) registers as a voter before launching the nationwide, one-month biometric voter registration (BVR) exercise in the capital Nairobi, November 19, 2012, targeting over 18 million voters ahead of the March 4 General Election.
Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki (R) registers as a voter before launching the nationwide, one-month biometric voter registration (BVR) exercise in the capital Nairobi, November 19, 2012, targeting over 18 million voters ahead of the March 4 General Election.
Peter Clottey
In Kenya, the first of two presidential debates is scheduled to be held Monday in the capital, Nairobi ahead of the March 4 general election. The second debate will be held on February 25.

 “We realized that [the] Kenyan voter doesn’t get to know the candidates very well. You don’t get to know what they stand for, what their values are and what do they really want to do for the country. So, we thought we owe it to the Kenyan voter to interrogate the candidates on an issue-based platform, and hopefully that would enable them to make informed choices at the ballot box,” said Wachira Waruru, the chairman of the presidential debate steering committee.

Six presidential candidates are expected to participate in the debate, which is the first in the East African nation’s history. They include Musalia Mudavadi (Amani coalition), Uhuru Kenyatta (Jubilee), Martha Karua (Narc-Kenya), James ole Kiyiapi (Restore and Rebuild Kenya), Peter Kenneth (Eagle Coalition) and Prime Minister Raila Odinga of the CORD party.

Organizers say they expect about 44 million viewers across the country to watch the debate, which will be broadcast live on all television and radio stations, as well as on the Internet.

Some Kenyans have expressed worry of possible violence leading up to the election. Security experts have also cautioned that there is need for measures to be implemented to prevent a repeat of the 2007-2008 post-election violence that left at least 1,300 killed and displaced hundreds of thousands from their homes.

Waruru says the candidates are expected to discuss concerns of violence ahead of the elections.

“This is part of the purpose of this whole exercise, because politicians sometimes use ethnic parameters to campaign quietly to their supporters and the average Kenyan ends up making choices based on ethnic loyalties,” said Waruru.

“But by making these politicians come to a public platform where they are interrogated in front of all Kenyans on matters beyond ethnicity, we think this is one way of eliminating ethnicity as a campaign or political tool,” he added.

Waruru says Monday’s debate will give prospective voters the opportunity to vet the candidates before next month’s vote.

He says the candidates will be questioned about the role they are willing to play to ensure the election is peaceful.

Clottey interview with Wachira Waruru, lead debate organizer
Clottey interview with Wachira Waruru, lead debate organizeri
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More