The Impacts of Post-election Power-sharing Agreement on Horizontal Mechanisms for Political Accountability: A case study of Kenya 2008 to 2013
Globally, power-sharing has become an international policy approach to mitigating conflict in ethnically or religiously diverse societies. Today, power-sharing is increasingly becoming part of almost every post conflict peace agreement. Recently in 2008, as a result of an election deadlock, Kenya was on the brink of civil war. International mediators through the United Nations mediated and power-sharing, a predominantly post conflict resolution tool, was implemented for the first time to resolve an election deadlock. Subsequently, post-election power-sharing as it has come to be known as, was implemented in Zimbabwe and as at today is being proposed in a number of other countries globally. Despite the growing debate and support for the use of post-election power-sharing to resolve election deadlocks, there is a conspicuous lack of detailed studies dedicated specifically to the suitability of using such post conflict arrangements in dealing with post election deadlock. Furthermore, political institutions which are the building blocks of good governance are almost entirely ignored in the few existing literature. This study compliments the few existing studies on post-election power-sharing by bringing to light possible impacts of such arrangements on political institutions, which must be taken into account if such arrangements are to result in good governance. To do this, the study explores how post-election power-sharing affects horizontal mechanisms for political accountability. Primary data from face to face, semi-structured, formal, open ended, interviews with diverse set of experts, as well as analyses of relevant primary and secondary sources were used in the analysis of the study. Contrary to earlier hypothesis that such arrangements may increase horizontal accountability, the study findings suggests that post-election power-sharing weakens horizontal mechanisms for political accountability by impeding parliaments' ability to effect sanctions on government.