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Journal of Democracy 14.3 (2003) 184-187
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Documents on Democracy
On 27 December 2002, the Kenya African National Union (KANU) lost its first presidential election since the country's independence in 1963. (See Stephen Ndegwa's article on pp. 145-58 of this issue.) Opposition leader Emilio Mwai Kibaki of the National Alliance Rainbow Coalition defeated KANU candidate Uhuru Kenyatta—outgoing president Daniel arap Moi's hand-picked successor. Excerpts from Kibaki's inaugural speech follow:
The National Rainbow Coalition [NARC] represents the future of Kenyan politics. NARC is the hope of this country. Our phenomenal success in so short a time is proof that working together in unity, we can move Kenya forward. . . . Never in the history of this country have its leaders come together and worked so hard together as one indivisible entity with one vision. . . .
We want to bring back the culture of due process, accountability and transparency in public office. The era of "anything goes" is gone forever. Government will no longer be run on the whims of individuals. The era of roadside policy declarations is gone. My government's decisions will be guided by teamwork and consultations.
The authority of Parliament and the independence of the judiciary will be restored and enhanced as part of the democratic process and culture that we have undertaken . . . to foster. . . . I am inheriting a country which has been badly ravaged by years of misrule and ineptitude. There has been a wide disconnect between the people and the Government, between people's aspirations and the government's attitude toward them.
I believe that government exists to serve the people and not the people to serve the government. I believe that government exists to chart a common path and create an enabling environment for its citizens and residents to fulfill themselves in life. Government is not supposed to be a burden on the people, it is not supposed to intrude on every aspect of [End Page 184] life and it is not supposed to mount roadblocks in every direction we turn to in life. The true purpose of government is to make laws and policies for the general good of the people, maintain law and order, provide social services that can enhance quality of life, defend the country against internal and external aggression and generally ensure that peace and stability prevails.
These will be the aims and objectives of the Government under my leadership. . . . My government will adhere to the principles and practice of the rule of law in a modern society. . . . Corruption will now cease to be a way of life in Kenya and I call upon all those members of my government and public officers accustomed to corrupt practice to know and clearly understand that there will be no sacred cows under my government. . . .
My government will continue to play a leading role in East Africa, Africa and the world. It will support and facilitate all positive efforts to resolve the conflicts in Somalia, Sudan, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and other trouble spots in Africa. Kenya continues to bear a heavy burden of these regional conflicts with hundreds of thousands of refugees in our land. As a country which has suffered two devastating terrorist attacks, we shall work closely with others to root out causes of terrorism in the world. We desire to live in a peaceful world, united by a common sense of purpose in pursuit of a safe common future.
The International Movement of Parliamentarians for Democracy (IMPD) condemned the recent crackdown on Cuban dissidents in the statement presented below. The IMPD is a recently founded coalition of parliamentarians from around the world that aims to challenge political oppression, the violation of human rights, and government corruption by means of coordinated outreach campaigns, public hearings, investigations, and the building of coalitions with democrats worldwide. (For more information on the IMPD, see www.wmd.org/parliamentarian.html.)
The International Movement of Parliamentarians for Democracy, a coalition of international parliamentarians dedicated to the defense and promotion of democracy around the world, condemns the arrest and conviction of democracy and human rights advocates...