The Impact Of Electioneering Period To The Economy

Kenya will be going into polls in 7 months’ time hence there is a feeling of anxiety on who will be the next head of state and government. The uncertainties that come with the campaign period and the aftermath of the voting day impact negatively the country’s economy. The country is already experiencing economic growth slow down since most investors are not assured of peace and political stability. The worry is as a result of repeated violence occurring after each general electioneering period.

Electoral laws and the electoral justice system of a country plays a crucial role in having free, fair, transparent and credible elections. The constitution and the same laws ensure a peaceful transition of leadership from one regime to another. Among the key electoral laws that we have in Kenya are the Constitution of Kenya 2010, Elections Act, Elections Offences Act, IEBC Act, Political Parties Act, Elections Campaign Financing Act, Leadership and Integrity Act, and others.

The system of governance in Kenya is Presidential system while the electoral system is a majoritarian system where the winner takes it all. The above electoral system is said to be the major cause of violence after each election cycle because the losers feel left out in the new government formation. The violence and fracas that crown the end of the electioneering period is considered the main cause of economic slow-down. In addition, the other consequent reasons are reduced taxes, increased short-term cash oriented expenditure to popularize the incumbent candidates and postponed crucial decisions that affect the economy.

Reduced borrowing from financial institutions resulting to slow credit growth is another reason. Reduced borrowing and lending is attributed to massive economic projects slow down by industrialists and businessmen. The project developers usually pause the initiation of new mega projects to wait for political temperatures to cool down and return to normalcy after voting and taking over of leadership by the new regime. The financiers remain adamant to issue long-term loans since any unforeseen destruction may happen to the immovable properties charged to them as securities for the loans. The last reason for the economic slowdown during the electioneering period is increased inflation due to a lot of cash in circulation chasing over limited stock of goods. The above mentioned laws are meant to facilitate expedient and smooth transition of governance and avert more harm to the economy.

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