Kenya risk score higher than 2007 disorder

Matthew Turner
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Electoral reform should reduce the chances of political violence in the upcoming Kenyan election, analysts say, but Euromoney Country Risk data provide reasons for caution.

Kenya should be spared the election violence that marred the country in 2007/2008, due to improvements in institutional reforms and electoral reform, claims Eurasia Group.

Kenyans go to the poll in March, with two front-running candidates leading the campaign. Relatively few economic policy differences exist between these candidates: prime minister Raila Odinga and deputy prime minister Uhuru Kenyatta.

“Recent updated surveys show the race tightening with Odinga’s CORD polling at 43% versus 40% for Kenyatta’s Jubilee,” reports Eurasia.

ECR analysts, on the other hand, have erred on the side of caution this time around. A comparison of the country’s political assessment criteria reveals that Kenya has become even more risky since the last election. Kenya’s political assessment score has deteriorated 3.5 points since March 2008, to 35.7 in February 2012.

Excluding Zimbabwe, Kenya slipped furthest in the...