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Kenya: Former President Daniel Arap Moi Dies

Moi was born on 2 September 1924 and was the second President of Kenya from 1978 to 2002. He was Vice President from 1967 to 1978.

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By AfricaLegalNews Political Desk

Former President of the Republic of Kenya, Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi has died. Moi was born on  2 September 1924 and was the second President of Kenya from 1978 to 2002. He was Vice President from 1967 to 1978. He became president after the death of the founding president Jomo Kenyatta.

Moi introduced multiparty elections in 1991 following massive grassroots protests and external pressures. He, however, led his party, the Kenya African National Union (KANU) to victory in the 1992 and 1997 elections.

Moi was popularly known to Kenyans as Nyayo, a Swahili word for “footsteps”, as he often said he was following in the footsteps of Founding President Jomo Kenyatta. He was also nicknamed “Professor of Politics” due to his long rule of 24 years. At the age of 95, he was the oldest living former Kenyan president at the time of his death.

Moi was born in Kabarak village, Baringo County, and was raised by his paternal uncle following the early death of his father. After completing his education at Kapsabet High School, he attended Tambach Teachers Training College in the Keiyo District and worked as a teacher from 1946 until 1955.

In 1955 and 1957 Moi was elected Member of the Legislative Council for Rift Valley. He became Minister of Education in the pre-independence government of 1960–1961.

In 1960 he founded the Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU) to challenge KANU led by Jomo Kenyatta. KADU pressed for a federal constitution, while KANU was in favour of centralism.

Former President Daniel arap Moi (holding a stick) chatting with incumbent President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta (right)

After Kenya gained independence on 12 December 1963, Kenyatta convinced Moi that KADU and KANU should be merged to complete the process of decolonisation. Accordingly, KADU dissolved and joined KANU in 1964. Moi became Minister for Home Affairs in 1964, and  Vice-President in 1967.

When Jomo Kenyatta died on 22 August 1978, Moi became acting president. He was declared President of Kenya in September 1978.

On 1 August 1982, lower-level Air Force personnel, led by Senior Private Grade-I Hezekiah Ochuka and backed by university students, attempted a coup d’état to oust Moi. The attempted coup was quickly suppressed by military and police forces. Moi took the opportunity to dismiss political opponents and consolidate his power.

In 1999 the Amnesty International and a special investigation by the United Nations reports were published which indicated that human rights abuses were prevalent in Kenya under the Moi regime.

Moi was constitutionally barred from running in the 2002 presidential elections. He retired and chose Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Kenya’s first President, as his successor. However, former Vice President Mwai Kibaki was elected President by a two to one majority over Kenyatta, which was confirmed on 29 December 2002. Kibaki was then a wheelchair user, having narrowly escaped death in a road traffic accident on the campaign trail. Uhuru Kenyatta went on to become President after the Mwai Kibaki presidency. Moi’s passing was announced on Tuesday 4 February 2020 morning by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

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Europe

Ireland awaits general election results

The incumbent Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar’s Fine Gael party faces a tough election due to housing and social services failures.

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By AfricaLegalNews Political Desk

The Republic of Ireland went to the polls on Saturday 8 February 2020 and the results are expected on Sunday.

The incumbent Taoiseach (Prime Minister)  Leo Varadkar’s Fine Gael party faces a tough election due to housing and social services failures.

Mr Varadkar, the son of Indian immigrants, however, made history by being Ireland’s youngest leader when he came into office in 2017. He has also been the republic’s first openly gay prime minister.

An Irish Times MRBI poll conducted in early February showed Fine Gael in third place at 20 per cent. The polls were led by leftist and former Irish revolutionary militia linked party Sinn Fein at 25 per cent) and Fianna Fail at 23 per cent.

The other main parties contesting the election include The Green Party, Labour Party and People Before Profits.

Mr Vradkar’s government’s term witnessed some historic moments for Ireland, including the Brexit negotiations, the Irish border talks and a referendum on abortion held in 2018.

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Court Diaries

Malawi Constitutional Court Nullifies Presidential Election.

The Malawi Constitutional Court on Monday 3 February 2020 nullified the results of the 2019 presidential election

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BY AfricaLegalNews Political Desk

The Malawi Constitutional Court on Monday 3 February 2020 nullified the results of the 2019 presidential election. The 2019 polls saw the ‘re-election’ of President Peter Mutharika.

The ruling can be appealed to the Supreme Court. The Constitutional Court judgement was read out live on radio in the English and Chichewa languages.

In May 2019, President Peter Mutharika was declared the winner with 38% of votes, followed by Lazarus Chakwera of the Malawi Congress Party with 35% and former vice president Saulos Chilima third with 20%. The current case was brought by the two main opposition candidates.

There had been protests in Malawi, with activists demanding the resignation of electoral commission chairwoman Jane Ansah.

Allegations of irregularities and vote rigging often mar elections in Africa. In Zimbabwe, there have also been electoral challenges almost after every election.

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