Kenya is at a crossroads.
On March 4th, voters will decide the president, senators, county governors, members of Parliament, civic wards, and women county representatives.
What makes this election unique, says the Open Doors coordinator for the region, is that "these are the first elections under the new constitution with its very many new structures." However, recent memories of 2007 and the deadly rioting cast a shadow of concern over the impending vote.
The tensions are heightened--especially after the setup of a tribunal was blocked by politicians in Kenya, and the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided to prosecute six politicians. Charges against two were dropped, while two of the remaining four are running in the elections: one for president and the other as his running mate. Some reports of violence have already surfaced.
Al-Shabaab influences have been growing in the region, triggering political instability and fears that religious freedom hangs in the balance. Additionally, Open Doors reports that the pressure on the government allowing for greater official influence for Islam remains a high priority.
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SOURCE: Mission Network News