Friday, 29 February 2008

Details of the deal are being worked out,start of chapter two in Kenya

Representatives on Friday began working out details of a power-sharing agreement aimed at ending two months of ethnic violence that killed more than 1,000 people after a disputed presidential election.Under the agreement, Odinga will become prime minister and have the power to "coordinate and supervise" the government — more authority than Kibaki wanted to yield.It was unclear when Odinga would take over as prime minister. Kibaki said he is reconvening parliament next Thursday to begin work on the needed constitutional changes.
Representatives for the two sides were meeting Friday to work out details and start hashing out some of the longer term reforms.

If Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki does not meet the terms of a power-sharing agreement it could lead to the disintegration of the country, opposition leader Raila Odinga said on Friday.
But Odinga said Kenyans had learned the lesson of their violent post-election crisis and would do all they can to make Thursday's peace deal work.
Asked by BBC radio what would happen if Kibaki's side didn't fulfil the deal, Odinga said: "That would be most unfortunate.... The coalition would break up and in my view that would lead to disintegration of the country."
But he added: "I feel confident that this period that we've gone through has been a teacher and that everyone is going to try and ensure that this coalition will work and succeed."

"We say we want to get a new constitution within one year. Kofi Annan has given it a maximum of two years life," he said.
"After the two years we will review. After the two years, if we have completed everything else, we would want to go for an election then ... We don't want to go beyond two years."

The main points
· The constitution will be amended to allow a coalition government to be formed. Cabinet posts will be divided based on the parliamentary strength of the respective parties, with the important portfolios balanced among the coalition partners.
· Mwai Kibaki remains president. As head of the largest party in parliament, opposition leader Raila Odinga will occupy a new post of prime minister, and will be responsible for running the affairs of the government. There will also be two deputy prime ministers elected by members of the coalition government.
· The prime minister and his deputies can only be removed by a parliamentary vote of no confidence. If Kibaki wishes to sack a cabinet minister he requires the written consent of the opposition leader. The coalition can be dissolved when parliament's term expires in 2012, if the parties agree in writing, or if one party withdraws from the coalition.

The power-sharing deal is a significant step forward, but the details of how power will be divided between Odinga and Kibaki and within the cabinet will be contentious, and the coalition government will be fragile and prone to deadlock. Worse, the threat of violence -- in places motivated by issues beyond the disputed election -- does not disappear with the announcement of a deal.

I wonder how this deal will be implemented, and wait to see what the cabinet will look like.

Nancy Wanjiru tells her story of how she was chased out of Mathare, yet some of her attackers were Kikuyu, and she says that the violence was more out of jealousy than tribalism.

Related articles:Kibaki,Odinga have a long history

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