Seat of Parliament: Nairobi

Population: 41,070,934 (est 2011)

Constitution: Republic

Date of Independence: 12 Dec 1963

CPA Branch Formed: 10 Jan 1964

Voting Age: 18

Branch Profile:

Current constitution: 1963, when Kenya became independent as a member of the Commonwealth. Kenya was proclaimed a republic in December 1964. Constitutional changes approved in December 1991 allowed for multiparty politics after a period of effectively single-party rule since 1964. Further constitutional amendments were approved in October 1997. A new draft constitution published in April 2005 was approved by parliament on 21 July but was rejected in a referendum on 21 November. An amendment ratified in March 2008 created the post of prime minister. Legislature: The legislature is unicameral. The sole chamber, the National Assembly (Bunge), has 224 members (210 directly elected for a five-year term, 12 nominated by the president and two, the attorney general and the speaker, ex officio). Political makeup of government: In the 2007 legislative elections the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), led by Raila Odinga and in opposition to President Kibaki's government, became the largest party in the National Assembly, whereas Kibaki was controversially declared to have been re-elected as president. Very serious rioting and killing followed this announcement, amid accusations of vote rigging. Kibaki and Odinga eventually signed an agreement on 29 February 2008, after international mediation led by former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, to form a coalition government. The cabinet which Kibaki had begun naming on 8 January 2008 was finally replaced on 17 April by a unity government including Odinga as prime minister and two deputy prime ministers. Parliament had approved the agreement on 25 March, but the negotiations over portfolios continued for several more weeks. The pro-Kibaki Party of National Unity (PNU), the main components of which were the National Alliance party of Kenya (NAK, including Kibaki's Democratic Party) and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), had first won the presidency and an overall majority in the National Assembly in the 2002 elections as the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC), defeating the Kenya African National Union (KANU), in power since independence. Kibaki had restructured his government on 30 June 2004 to bring in members of the main opposition parties, KANU and the two wings of the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy - Ford-People (Ford-P) and Ford-Kenya (Ford-K). The minister for roads was killed in an aircraft accident on 10 June 2008. His portfolio was given to the minister for public works on an acting basis. The minister for finance resigned on 8 July after allegations of corruption, but returned to the cabinet on 23 January 2009 as minister for trade in a cabinet reshuffle in which a new minister for roads was also appointed. The chair of NARC (and leader of NAK) resigned as minister of justice, national cohesion and constitutional affairs on 7 April. He was replaced on 4 May. Several items of information provided by People in Power.