Political party politics in Kenya: a historical analysis of Kenya African National Union (KANU), and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), 1990- 2013
Otieno, Isaiah Oduor
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The year 1990 marked the fall of communism and the beginning of a new trajectory in world politics that ushered in multi-party politics in the African continent. With the re-introduction of multi-party politics in Kenya beginning 1991 it was highly expected that the transition to multiparty democracy and regular elections would over time lead to qualitatively improved institutions and democratic processes. To the disappointment of many citizens the return of party pluralism only resulted in the proliferation of a number of political parties and not real democratic transition. There seem to be a missing link between party pluralism and democratic transition. This study will examine party politics by undertaking a historical analysis of two political parties in Kenya; KANU and ODM between 1990 and 2013. This study begins by tracing the historical evolution of political parties in Kenya. The structure and organization of the selected political parties will be analyzed. Internal management, recruitment of leadership, nomination of candidates in party primaries will also be examined. Finally this study will question the adequacy of neo-liberal thinking in analyzing political phenomena in Africa. Anchored on post-colonial theory this study will argue that political parties in Africa should be examined in the context of the state as a colonial construct. To achieve its objectives both primary and secondary sources of data will be consulted. A field interview of 120 respondents; 60 randomly selected from each of the selected political parties will be undertaken. Both qualitative and quantitative methods will be employed in analyzing and interpreting collected data.