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Poll: Kenyans Less Content with Government - 2001-10-24

An opinion poll released in Kenya shows people are growing less content with the government. With elections scheduled for next year, the poll is not good news for the government.

According to the poll, Kenyans believe President Daniel Arap Moi has too much power and his government is corrupt.

Peter Oriare is an official with the firm that conducted the survey, Strategic Public Relations and Research. He says almost three-quarters of the Kenyan electorate is unhappy with the government's policies.

"The majority of Kenyans of voting age are pessimistic, and they are pessimistic about the direction the country is going, and they are pessimistic about the way the government has run its affairs," he says.

There are many reasons for the pessimism. Kenya is experiencing its worst recession since independence in 1963. Unemployment, crime and hunger are all on the rise. And those polled do not expect things to get better any time soon. In fact, more than six out of 10 them expect things to get worse.

The survey was funded by the International Republican Institute, a U.S.-based non-governmental organization that promotes democracy.

With elections scheduled for next year, the poll's findings will undoubtedly be scrutinized carefully by Kenya's politicians.

The poll may also persuade President Moi, who is due to retire after 24 years in power, that he is leaving office at a good time.

According to the survey, two-thirds of those of voting age believe the president has too much power. Even greater numbers want parliament to have the right to impeach or remove their head of state.