Kenya's election

The Opinion-page article "Kenya's Rigged Election," Sept. 2, demonstrates what appears to be a prejudgment on the outcome of our forthcoming multiparty elections. The author recycles rumors, but he makes no attempt to recognize signs which prove contrary to his arguments. The author also fails to recognize the basic elements of the parliamentary system in Kenya. He complains that no election date has been set, and that it will be announced with little warning. In many parliamentary democracies, including

Britain, the election date is set in precisely this manner.

Contrary to the author's complaints, Kenyan politicians both from the ruling Kenya African National Union party and the opposition parties have been campaigning, holding elections, and recruiting members across the country for the last nine months. It is no secret to any Kenyan and informed observer that the Constitution requires a general election no later than March 1993.

During the past year, the public debate regarding the election blossomed in the Kenyan press. For much of that time, the Kenyan media have been highly critical of the government. Lately, however, the Kenyan press has turned its attention toward the opposition parties, some of whom are struggling to overcome internal divisions and conflicts. The author claims that this new attention is the result of government manipulation. In fact it is the result of a hungry press sensing an easy prey. Denis D. Afande, Washington, Ambassador of Kenya to the US

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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