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Capsule Review

Multi-Party Politics in Kenya: The Kenyatta and Moi States and the Triumph of the System in the 1992 Election

In This Review

Multi-Party Politics in Kenya: The Kenyatta and Moi States and the Triumph of the System in the 1992 Election

Multi-Party Politics in Kenya: The Kenyatta and Moi States and the Triumph of the System in the 1992 Election
By David Throup and Charles Hornsby
Ohio University Press, 1998, 290 pp. $29.95 Purchase

After playing little part in African politics for decades, African elections assumed a new importance in the 1990s and revived the venerable tradition of election studies. This study of the 1992 Kenyan general election is a tour de force, with 100 figures and tables plus 38 pages of appendices giving presidential and parliamentary results from every constituency. The authors, two British political scientists, have not only done an expert job of interpreting the election but have neatly traced the emergence of the major opposition parties and their collapse into ethnic blocs held together by neopatrimonial, old-guard leaders -- the Kenyan "system." The failure of the opposition to unite handed a fourth term to the venal Daniel arap Moi, who polled only 37 percent of the presidential vote. The authors conclude that a more liberal democracy remains unattainable as long as the Kenyan electorate and political elites continue to regard politics solely as a matter of ethnic patronage. They also regard it as highly unlikely that Kenya can regain its economic health under a government run by Moi and his present coalition because the ruling elite is built around the exclusion of the Kikuyu, the country's most dynamic producers.

In This Review

Multi-Party Politics in Kenya: The Kenyatta and Moi States and the Triumph of the System in the 1992 Election

Multi-Party Politics in Kenya: The Kenyatta and Moi States and the Triumph of the System in the 1992 Election
By David Throup and Charles Hornsby
Ohio University Press, 1998, 290 pp. $29.95 Purchase

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