Sunday, December 29, 2002

# Posted 5:44 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

DEMOCRACY IN KENYA (YES, KENYA). For the first time since gaining independence from the British Empire in 1963, Kenya has held free and fair elections. The opposition won a landslide, crushing the hand picked candidate of Pres. Daniel Arap Moi, who has ruled Kenya for the past 24 years.

It's hard to know exactly why the President chose to let the people have their way, but it is a significant step forward. According to an article in the April 2002 issue of the Journal of Democracy, the only reliable indicator that a country is on the road to reform is that the opposition has triumphed in democratic elections. In those states where former dictators won elections, no real reform has taken place. Let that be a lesson for those who will decide the fate of the Middle East.
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