Parliamentary Chamber: Bunge


<<< Return to the Historical Archive page of parliamentary election results for KENYA <<<


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  27 December 2002

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the elective seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.

Background and outcome of elections:

  On 25 October 2002, President Daniel arap Moi officially announced the end of his 24-year rule of the country, dissolving Parliament and launching the electoral campaign for the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for 27 December 2002.

President Moi was constitutionally barred from running for a new term. The nomination of his successor, Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta, son of Kenya's founding president Jomo Kenyatta, split the ruling party, the Kenyan African National Union (KANU), leading key party and government officials to resign and defect to the main broad-based opposition alliance, the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC).

The elections marked the first time since the establishment of a multiparty system in 1991 that the opposition was able to offer a coherent challenge to the KANU party. Unlike in the two previous elections, when the opposition was fragmented, in 2002 the NARC was a strong alliance of opposition parties that had promised sweeping constitutional reforms and an end to corruption.

Two weeks before the polls, ten political parties signed an electoral code of conduct amid rising incidents of violence, foul language and claims of vote-buying.

Among the five candidates vying for the Presidency, the two main contenders were Mr. Kenyatta and Mr. Mwai Kibaki, the leader of the NARC. Mr Kibaki, a former Vice-President, ran a campaign based on corruption-related issues and Mr. Kenyatta's lack of political experience, as well as direct attacks on KANU and the country's rulers for the last 39 years characterised by corruption and mismanagement. He further stressed the fact that the country's economy was in the doldrums and that the IMF had suspended aid because of concerns about corruption.

Mr Kenyatta had to campaign hard to distance himself from his mentor, outgoing President Moi. Mr. Kenyatta had only entered Parliament in October 2001 as a member nominated by the President, after a failed electoral bid in 1997. During the campaign, he promised to clean up KANU and presented himself as a "fresh face" untainted by power, pointing out that the NARC was full of recent defectors from KANU and led by the "old generation".

A total of 40,000 local and foreign observers were accredited by the Electoral Commission, making these the most closely scrutinised polls in the country's history. Both the European Union and the Commonwealth election monitoring groups congratulated Kenyans on conducting free, fair and peaceful elections.

The opposition won an overwhelming majority in both the presidential and parliamentary elections. In Parliament, the NARC took 126 seats out of the 210 at stake, as against 64 for KANU.

On 29 December 2002, opposition leader, Mr. Kibaki was declared Kenya's third President. He was sworn in on the following day.

Round no 1 (27 December 2002): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 10 491 080

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group %
National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) 61.00
Kenyan African National Union (KANU) 30.50
Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD-People) 6.70
Safina 1.00
Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD-Asili) 1.00
Shirikisho 0.50

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) 125
Kenyan African National Union (KANU) 64
Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD-People) 14
Safina 2
Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD-Asili) 2
Shirikisho 1

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 208
Women: 16
Percent of women: 7.14

<<< Return to the Historical Archive page of parliamentary election results for KENYA <<<

Copyright 2002 Inter-Parliamentary Union