A Contextual and Comparative Analysis of Constitutionalism and Political Culture on Elections: Kenya and Zimbabwe.

Kennedy M Maranga


The influence of a Constitution in an electoral system may seem obvious, but sometimes it is not. Sometimes there are tensions between the principles underpinning an electoral process such as the promotion of majority rule, giving a voice for minorities, inclusiveness, the promotion of a stable government, freedom of expression, assembly, the free press and political culture. This paper examines the concept of constitutionalism and political culture in Kenya and Zimbabwe as it relates to the electoral process. Constitutions of Malawi, South Africa, Libya, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, France, German, U.K, U.S.A, Australia, Canada, and Latin America have also been mentioned. The intention is not to take a comparative analysis of the texts of the Constitution of these countries, but to draw lessons in the development of constitutionalism as it relates to elections. In doing so, this paper addresses legal issues involved in making Constitutions work. This paper not only examines constitutional forms in Kenya and Zimbabwe, but the political life in which they have been contained. Key findings show that although a good Constitution is important, it is not enough to create constitutionalism.

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