Presidential candidates accused of crimes against humanity
Today, 4 March Kenya is having elections. The last election in 2007 ended in violent conflict. Two of the candidates, Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto , have been charged with crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court in The Hague ( ICC) for their involvement in the violence. The country is divided and Kenya's president of the Supreme Court , Willy Mutunga , has received death threats if he rejects the candidacies of Kenyatta and Ruto.
− For them, the elections are a do-or-die affair. That creates strong incentives for Kenyatta and Ruto not to play by the rules. We know what happened the last time when electoral fraud was discovered , and it can happen again , says NAI researcher Anders Sjögren .
Should the ICC indicted candidates win the election , the future looks bleak for Kenya. As the country's president and vice president , they can decide not to go to the trial.
- If so, there will probably be sanctions of various kinds. And even if they do cooperate with the ICC, prospects for badly needed reforms of the Kenyan state to make it more democratic or effective look remote on their watch, says Anders Sjögren.
Anders Sjögren is conducting fieldwork in Kenya during the elections.