Kenyans see jobs, corruption as top election issues: Gallup

NAIROBI Thu Aug 2, 2012 1:45pm EDT

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NAIROBI (Reuters) - Creating jobs and tackling corruption are the two most important challenges that Kenyans want their government to address in the run-up to elections next March, according to a Gallup public opinion poll released on Thursday.

The next presidential election in east Africa's biggest economy will be closely scrutinized because it will be the first since the 2007 vote that triggered fighting in which more than 1,200 people were killed.

The Gallup survey conducted in April showed 36 percent of Kenyans aged 18 and older believed unemployment was the country's most pressing issue while 28 percent named reducing corruption.

Smaller percentages cited other issues such as improving education (14 percent), agriculture (12 percent), health care (7 percent) and electricity supplies (3 percent).

"Gallup findings show that all Kenyans regardless of gender, education, or even level of urbanization view jobs and corruption as the two key issues their government should address," said a statement accompanying the survey results.

"Young people aged 18 to 29 are the only group for which job creation is substantially more important than reducing corruption," it said.

The 2007/8 post-election violence led to prosecutions of prominent Kenyan political figures by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Kenya's Court of Appeal said on Tuesday the polls should be held on March 4, the date set by the nation's electoral body.

The election will be the first since Kenya adopted a new constitution and will also feature many new elective posts created by the new law.

(Reporting by James Macharia; Editing by Roger Atwood)

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