The Republic of Kenya is a democracy. Kenya has a multi-party political system based on parliamentary democracy, and its parliament is bicameral, consisting of the National Assembly and the Senate. Members of both houses are elected by general election every five years. Executive power is held by the president, assisted by a vice president and cabinet. Legislative power belongs to the National Assembly. The Senate protects regional interests and oversees revenue expenditure.
A Rocky Road to Democracy
Kenya gained independence from Britain in December 1963. General elections have been held every five years since; however, these have at times led to political unrest that threatened the democratic political system. Accusations of vote rigging followed the presidential election of 2007 and led to violence that continued into 2008. Kofi Annan, then director general of the United Nations, brokered a deal to stop the violence and introduce electoral reform that satisfied all Kenyans. In 2010, a new constitution introduced political reforms to ensure a fair, transparent and democratic voting process.