The 2013 elections could pave Kenya’s way to becoming a truly inclusive democracy.
The period following the 2007 Kenyan elections was marred by violence, leading to over 1500 deaths and causing the internal displacement of over 850,000 people. Since then Kenyan citizens have made some great achievements, laying a sound legal basis for the upcoming elections on the 4th of March 2013. A new, forward-looking Constitution was adopted in 2010, followed by the Political Parties and Elections Acts in 2011. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has been established to oversee elections. The National Cohesion and Integration Commission promotes hate-speech guidelines.However, recent violent incidents, which may have been politically motivated, and rhetoric that exacerbates ethnic and tribal animosities pose challenges to a peaceful election environment in Kenya. Kenyans need to be able to cast their votes without fear of intimidation or retribution for their choices. The IEBC needs to be able to work unhindered, and results must be verifiable and be announced without delay. Political leaders, their supporters and the media must refrain from supporting, inciting or engaging in hate speech and the incitement of politically or ethnically motivated violence.Beyond Violence seeks to form a network of people collectively calling for peaceful, fair and credible elections in Kenya in March 2013. Kenyans from all political and ethnic backgrounds want to break the cycles of political violence, and the international community supports them in their endeavour. We want to make their voices heard. Join this network and inspire change.Sign the petition to show that you oppose political violence in Kenya, and to express your solidarity with Kenyans who want to put an end to cycles of political violence. Include a photo and be the face of change. Have you made banners calling for peaceful and free elections? Are you attending peace rallies in Kenya or abroad? Have you taken a photo that symbolises peace for you? Together with your signature, you can upload a photo that will be displayed on our wall of change. This will set a visual statement against political violence. If you are interested to learn more about the root causes of political violence, key actors and key issues, click here to find our conflict profile. For regular updates on the elections and the progress of our campaign, please follow us on Twitter and Facebook.