The Formation and Instability of Coalition Governments in Kenya

In: The African Review
Oita Etyang PhD Student; Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Johannesburg P.O. Box 524, Auckland Park, 2006 Johannesburg South Africa

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Coalition governments have become a common feature of liberal democracies world over. Although relatively new in the African context, it is apparent that they are becoming a common feature in Africa’s political systems. In Kenya, the first coalition government emerged after 2002 when the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) trounced the Kenya African National Union (KANU) in the 2002 general elections. Since then, two other coalition governments have been formed. This paper interrogates the rationale for the formation of the three coalition governments. It is clear from the paper that coalition governments have not been driven by ideological considerations but office seeking reasons. Further, lack of ideological consideration coupled with weak coalition management structures have largely contributed to intermittent wrangles and instability in the coalition governments. The paper draws upon secondary and primary data sources. Primary data was collected through key informant interviews with targeted respondents who were considered knowledgeable in the subject area.

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