Kenya’s president set to form power-sharing government

March 19th, 2008 - 3:28 pm ICT by admin  

Nairobi, March 19 (Xinhua) Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki is set to name a new government this week after parliament approved a power-sharing deal between him and opposition leader Raila Odinga. Kibaki, leader of Party of National Unity (PNU), is expected to appoint a cabinet with the 63-year-old Odinga of Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) as prime minister in a political deal reached Tuesday that is expected to end countrywide violence over disputed December election results.

The new coalition cabinet will replace the previous government announced by Kibaki days after he was controversially declared the winner of the presidential polls.

Kibaki’s office said he had signed an amendment to the constitution and a new law to allow the country’s first power-sharing government.

“The signing into law of the bill by the president will pave the way for the creation of the posts of prime minister and two deputy prime ministers as required by the envisioned grand coalition,” the president’s office said.

Some political analysts say the move is a bold attempt to reconcile the nation after the Dec 27 disputed presidential election.

Political analysts hoped the deal will end the deadly political rivalry that has left more than 1,000 people dead and 350,000 others displaced since presidential elections.

Under the deal brokered by former UN chief Kofi Annan in Nairobi Feb 28, PNU and ODM will share power on a 50-50 basis.

Analysts argue that the composition of the new cabinet will be a key indicator of how the grand coalition will work.

They said in addition to restoring stability and getting the economy back on track, the new administration must also come up with plans for a long term constitutional solution to Kenya’s problems.

“What Kenyans should expect from today is that there will be new kind of governance. We would have a prime minister sharing power with the president and at the same time we are returning the country to normalcy,” said lawmaker David Musila.

Kibaki said earlier Tuesday that the two bills held the chance to resolve the political crisis. “We are now confident a permanent solution to the crisis will be achieved,” he said.

Odinga said lawmakers should continue to work towards reconciliation and support a drive to address key underlying issues.

“A time has come for us to hold a national ethnic conference where we will have representatives from all the 42 tribes in the country come together to discuss openly how we want to lead this country,” he said.

The prime minister-designate said the country has an opportunity to undertake comprehensive reforms in all sectors to bequeath future generations a better Kenya.

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