BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Somali Swahili French Great Lakes Hausa Portugeuse
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
    You are in: Africa  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
 Friday, 20 December, 2002, 11:58 GMT
Violence warning ahead of Kenyan poll
Mwai Kibaki (centre) waves to supporters
Kibaki has a good chance of being Kenya's next leader

One week to go and the tension is beginning to show in the most important general election campaign in Kenyan history.

Kenya's electoral commission has expressed concern about growing incidents of violence and vote-buying in the run-up to next week's general election.

A group of western diplomats has also warned about an upsurge in political violence.

However, the group said the campaign was being run much better than previous ones.

Illegal trade

The electoral commission has written to 15 parliamentary and civic candidates, singled out for alleged campaign violence and vote-buying.

Uhuru Kenyatta
Kenyatta is seeking to continue the ruling party's reign

A top civil servant, working in the president's office, has also been warned against meddling in party politics.

Senior diplomats have echoed those concerns.

The US ambassador, Johnnie Carson, has spoken out against an upsurge in political violence, following several attacks on campaign rallies by rival groups.

The ambassadors said they had seen evidence of an illegal trade in voter cards, too.

'Bias'

The diplomats expressed concern about the continued bias of the state media, the Kenyan Broadcasting Corporation (KBC), which has openly sided with the ruling Kanu party.

"It showed that KBC gave to the opposition one quarter of the time that it gave to Kanu," British High Commissioner Edward Clay said about a new survey of KBC.

KENYAN VOICES
We hope that the new leaders will see our problems and how we have been exploited for so long, and come to our help

Michael Kigochi

"It also showed that of that time 100% of Kanu's coverage was favourable, whereas 66.6% of their coverage for the opposition was unfavourable."

But despite these and other abuses, the election campaign is going relatively smoothly, compared with previous polls in 1992 and 1997.

For the first time, the main opposition coalition is widely expected to win, both the parliamentary and presidential votes.

That has raised fears that the ruling party may try to cling on to power illegally.

But so far, most observers seem optimistic about a reasonably smooth and democratic transition.

Kenyans choose a new president

Key stories

Inauguration day

Moi steps down

Background

INTERACTIVE GUIDE

AUDIO VIDEO

TALKING POINT
See also:

18 Dec 02 | Africa
17 Dec 02 | Africa
13 Dec 02 | Media reports
05 Dec 02 | Africa
12 Nov 02 | Africa
25 Oct 02 | Africa
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes