August 12, 2010
Turning the Corner in Kenya
Joel Barkan & Makau Mutua, Foreign Affairs
In a historic referendum on August 4, nearly 70 percent of Kenyan voters approved a draft for a new constitution, an outcome that raises the prospects for peace and stability in East Africa's anchor state and in the surrounding region. Ratification of the new constitution also returns Kenya to the path of democratization and economic growth -- a path that was disrupted by the mass violence that threatened the viability of the state following the disputed presidential election in December 2007. In contrast to that election, the referendum was peaceful and well run by the country's reconstituted election commission.
The new constitution is undoubtedly the best of the multiple proposals and drafts that have been considered in Kenya since the early 1990s, when the nation...