USP Electronic Research Repository

The 1983 Nyayo elections: a quest for legitimacy

Ahluwalia, Pal (1986) The 1983 Nyayo elections: a quest for legitimacy. The African Review, 13 (1). pp. 89-104. ISSN 0856-0056

Full text not available from this repository.


Many academics assert that elections in single-party systems provide little meaningful change. However, it is the author's view that the 1983 elections in Kenya (a one-party State), popularly known as the Nyayo elections, are highly significant in determining the general direction of politics in this country. The 1983 elections were called by President Moi a year early to dissipate a crisis which had emerged following the naming of Charles Njonjo as a traitor and his dismissal from cabinet and the party. Two reasons led to this decision. First, Moi hoped that the elections would serve a legitimizing function and restore confidence in a severely weakened presidency following the abortive coup of August 1, 1982. Second, the elections were utilized to focus public attention away from the serious economic problems which the country faced. The most salient institutional change in the 1983 elections was the fact that in July 1982 Kenya had constitutionally become a 'de jure' one-party State. However, this important legal change did not result in a significant departure from past practices. The electoral results show that the electorate did not appear willing to give Moi the much needed legitimacy that he required to survive in the long run.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Office of the VC
Depositing User: Ms Shalni Sanjana
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2022 23:08
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2022 23:08

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item