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Barack Obama's re-election reverberates far beyond US borders — so much so that citizens of some distant nations, like Pakistan and Turkey, say they too should have been able to vote. To give them a voice, GlobalPost interviewed people around the world for their views on the United States and who they hoped would win the election.

US Election Global Survey 2012_10_05
(Kyle Kim/GlobalPost)
Kenya

US Election: What if Kenya could vote?

'Obama has been a disappointment because he promised to close Guantanamo Bay which he didn’t. The foreign policy of the US is not very favorable.'

NAIROBI, Kenya — As part of GlobalPost's project to interview 100 people in 20 locations around the world about the 2012 US election, we asked Kenyans:

Who do you want to win the 2012 US election?

Will the election affect your country?

How has your view of the US changed since President Obama took office?

What should the next US president do?

  • Country: Kenya
  • Name: David Njoroge
  • Occupation: Data management consultant
  • Age: 34
  • I would vote for: Obama
My vote: "Obama. Give him a second chance, so he can finish what he has started."

The election's impact: "Ok, some people were expecting we would get more aid, more drugs for people with HIV, but that hasn't happened. He hasn't even visited us, and he hasn't done anything to affect the common wananchi [citizens]. But he has no option, he has to take care of the domestic issues because of the debts they have."

My view: "My opinion of [Obama] has gone up. I know many people are not happy with Obama. Americans expected more, and in fact the whole world was expecting a lot from Obama. Some Kenyans were expecting Obama to visit us, to bring us goodies, but he didn't — and if he had done, he'd be blamed for wasting money now by those Republicans. But I like him because he has a human perspective, he's fair. He's not against gays. He's more balanced between Muslims and Christians. Maybe that's why there is less terrorism now than when Bush was there."

Top priority: "He needs to improve on the economy and withdraw troops from Iraq and other countries. The focus has to be on domestic issues."
  • Country: Kenya
  • Name: Alex Lukuru
  • Occupation: Carpenter
  • Age: 40
  • I would vote for: Obama
My vote: "I would vote for Barack Obama because he has done the first term and is seeking for the second so I would give him the chance to finish what he has started. Actually I am a supporter of the Democrats because I believe in their policies."
The election's impact: "In Kenya we are a developing country and we depend so much on America and also European countries. The person who is the president will have a great bearing on Kenya because we will either benefit or not benefit depending on who gets to the White House."
My view: "I think [the US] is much better than it was before Obama came in. Not really because [his family] is Kenyan but because before him it was Mr. Bush, who was a Republican, and they were war-like. But Obama is not so much about war, he focuses on development and improving the economy."

Top Priority: "I think the most important thing is to make sure the common people’s lives are made better and easier, economically and also in security matters."
  • Country: Kenya
  • Name: Boniface Mwangi
  • Occupation: Photographer
  • Age: 28
  • I would vote for: Obama
My vote: "Obama has been a disappointment because he promised to close Guantanamo Bay which he didn’t, he promised to give us two states in Palestine and Israel and failed to do that. The foreign policy of the US is not very favorable."

The election's impact "Obama has a Kenyan connection but in terms of aid Kenya benefitted more under Bush than Obama, so even though Kenyans think Obama is one of our own, Obama is not one of us. We want to claim him as ours but if you look at his foreign policy Africa hasn’t been big on his agenda."

My view: "Much better: for once you have a smart guy in office!" 

Top priority: "We need to do fair trade, man. The subsidies given the American farmers are killing our economies. We don’t need aid, we need trade." 
  • Country: Kenya
  • Name: Shadrack Mutuku
  • Occupation: Taxi driver
  • Age: 32
  • I would vote for: Obama
My vote: "I would vote for Obama. The time he was there he is doing a good job, bringing peace, he doesn’t like things like Al Shabaab and Al Qaeda."

The election's impact: "It might if the election is not fair, if there’s corruption, you know sometimes they give us aid and also tourists. So if there’s peace there will be no tourists coming in our place. And also they give us business."

My view: "On my side it has improved. In business and on the side of terrorism, in this country and other countries." 

Top priority: "The most important is to make sure there is a peace in every country. That is the key to everything."
  • Country: Kenya
  • Name: Pamela Owuor
  • Occupation: Nanny
  • Age: 43
  • I would vote for: Undecided
My vote: "I’m not sure because I’ve not been watching how they are working or what their policies are."

The election's impact: "No, I don’t think so. That’s another country; we have our own country."

My view: "It’s just the same, it didn’t make any change to me at all because we do have to work hard as usual and when they bring the aid I’m not sure if it reaches us."

Top priority: "The important thing that can even help the Africans is if they can help us to stop these Al-Shabaabs because it is affecting the whole world. Maybe they can help in fighting people like Al-Shabaab and also stop pollution, then it’s a profit to me as an African."

GlobalPost series: See what the world thinks about election 2012

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/kenya/120925/us-election-what-if-kenya-could-vote