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Ethnicity and Voter Behaviour in Presidential Elections under the New Constitution: A Case of the 2013 Elections in Kajiado County, Kenya

The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of ethnicity on voter behaviour in presidential elections in Kenya
under the new Kenya Constitution, 2010, in reference to the 2013 elections in Kajiado County. The study adopted the
Utilitarian and Rational Choice theories as the theoretical underpinning for this research. A descriptive research design
was adopted. The population of the study was registered voters in Kajiado County. The target population for the study
was registered voters from Kajiado West, Kajiado Central, and Kajiado South Constituencies, totalling 60,293 people.
Krejcie and Morgan (1970) sampling formula determined the sample size of the study as 382 respondents. Structured
interviews were used in data collection, guided by 321 questionnaire(s) and key informant guides representing a response
rate of 84%. Inferential statistics (multiple regression) and frequency tables were used to analyse the data. The Statistical
Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS ) was used in this analysis. The findings revealed that ethnicity and sub-ethnicity
did not have significant influence on voter behavior in the study area. However, constitutional reforms and campaign
practices were found to have positive and significant effects on voter behaviour. The study concluded that constitutional
reform had a minimal effect on Maasai voter behaviour in Kajiado County in 2013, and that campaign practices had
the greatest effect on Maasai voter behaviour in the County. The study recommends that there is need for civic education
and public awareness on the 2010 Constitution among the Maasai community to improve their knowledge on the
electoral process. There is also need for enforcing the electoral laws and procedures as enshrined in the 2010 Constitution.
The study also recommends for the strengthening of bodies mandated to enforce ethical political practice during election
periods in order to reduce election malpractices by political candidates.

Key Words | Kajiado, Maasai, ethnicity, voter behavior, political reforms, civic education, and campaign practices


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