Is power sharing a feasible alternative to the pursuit of peace in contested elections: a comparative analysis of Kenya and Zimbabwe
Kaburia, Edward K
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Power-sharing governments are common ingredients of peace making and peace building efforts. Power-sharing guarantees the participation of representatives of significant groups in political decision making especially in the executive as well as in the legislature, judiciary, police and army. By dividing power among rival groups during contested elestions, powersharing reduces the danger that one party will become dominant and threaten the security of others. One way of understanding power-sharing is in terms of conflict management. The main function of power-sharing in this discourse is to end violence and not necessarily to build democracy. There have been serious critiques with regard to the feasibility or the desirability of powersharing. This study critically aims at looking at the meaning and evolution of the powersharing agreements, underpinning aims and strategies of their use for recovery of states experiencing conflict due to contested elections, the key role they play, and their challenges and shortcomings in the recovery of conflicting societies. In other words, this study will research on the feasibility of power-sharing in governments as a means of fostering longlasting peace in states experiencing conflict due to contested elections. Qualitative data collection and analysis were used for this dissertation. Qualitative data is the most applicable to this study because it gathers rich data in the form of the attitudes, feelings, and motivations of the subjects. The attitudes, feelings, and emotions of the subjects can yield in-depth and rich answers to the research objectives. In-depth interviews were carried out using an interview guide to collect the qualitative data. These individual interviews are semistructured in the sense that a number of prescribed or seed questions were asked. Once a seed question is asked, the interviews assume a discussion form, with the interviewee directing the conversation with a number of follow-up questions to uncover key contextual information or to elaborate on important topics.