Kenya goes into its most important election since independence on December 27. The polls will be signiﬁcant because President Daniel Arap Moi, head of state since August 1978, is constitutionally barred from contesting. This transition, necessitated by a constitutional provision introduced in 1991 when President Moi and his ruling party, the Kenya African National Union (KANU), reluctantly agreed to demands for the reintroduction of political pluralism, is rare on the continent. Most African presidents have either died in ofﬁce or been removed from power more vigorously.
Moi, who has long dubbed himself the ‘Professor of Politics’ and operated with a political ruthlessness and focus that meant the moniker was earned many times over, surprised the country earlier this year by anointing forty-two-year-old Uhuru Kenyatta, son of Kenya’s ﬁrst president, Jomo Kenyatta, as his preferred successor.