Topical debates — Kenya

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 1:50 pm on 17th January 2008.

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Photo of Jo Swinson Jo Swinson Liberal Democrat, East Dunbartonshire 1:50 pm, 17th January 2008

Some people have criticised the Leader of the House for her decisions on subjects for topical debate, but today her choice cannot be faulted. It is very welcome that the House has this opportunity to debate the crisis in Kenya. As we speak, thousands of Kenyans are protesting on the streets of Nairobi, in Kisumu and throughout the country. I am particularly delighted to follow Hugh Bayley, who made an eloquent and powerful contribution and who has much experience in international development.

Let us be clear: the humanitarian and political crisis in Kenya has arisen because on 27 December, Mwai Kibaki stole the elections from the people of Kenya. More than 600 Kenyans have lost their lives and 250,000 have fled their homes as a direct result of an election that betrayed democracy and involved corruption at the highest levels, in the heart of the electoral commission of Kenya. The evidence is stark. In one constituency, recorded turnout was 115 per cent. In Molo, western Kenya, official results gave Kibaki 35,000 more votes than the total tallied by observers at the count. Delays in announcing results from Kibaki's stronghold allowed time to let officials know how many extra votes to add to the tally. There were no outside observers at the final stage of the ballot count. It is quite clear that the result was manipulated behind closed doors at the electoral commission.

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