Kenya Experiences Smooth Transition

Jan 16, 2003 12:13 PM EST

On 27 December 2002, the General Election in Kenya and subsequent transfer of power was an enormous success, thanks to millions of Christians who prayed for a peaceful transition.

Emilio Mwai Kibaki, 71, is now Kenya's third President after Mr. Daniel Arap Moi relinquished power after 24 years as Head of State and Government. It is the first time that a sitting president has relinquished power and handed it to a political opponent.

President Kibaki took his oath in a wheelchair; a serious motor accident has recently left him handicapped. His party, National Rainbow Coalition (NARC), unseated the ruling party Kanu, which has formed government since independence 40 years ago.

Kenyans filled churches for New Year Services and thanked God for the transition, which many had predicted would be violent. At the Anglican All Saints' Cathedral in Nairobi, Commonwealth Election Observers also turned up for the service and expressed joy at the mature way in which Kenyans had conducted themselves during the campaigns and balloting.

In his election campaign, President Kibaki promised to revive the economy, which has experienced a downturn in the last decade. He also pledged free primary education to all children and affordable heath care.

By Albert H. Lee
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