Power-sharing deal reached in Kenya

Kofi Annan announces a coalition government will be formed, ending weeks of division.

    Annan, left, met Kibaki, second right, and Odinga, far right, in Nairobi on Thursday [Reuters]

    Rival leaders in Kenya have agreed to form a coalition government after weeks of nationwide violence and political unrest.
     
    Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary-general who has been mediating the talks between the government and the opposition, said on Thursday that an agreement had been made, ending the political crisis.
     
    "We have come to an understanding on the coalition agreement. We do have an agreement," he said.

    Yvonne Ndege, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Nairobi, said local television reported that the power-sharing deal allegedly included a fifty-fifty cabinet, within which the opposition Orange Democratic Party (ODM) would get key posts.

    Fifty per cent of cabinet positions would go to the ODM. However, Mwai Kibaki, the president, has already appointed some of his party members to critical positions, Ndege reported.
     
    The media also reported that the government agreed to make Raila Odinga, the opposition leader, the prime minister of Kenya with executive powers - all changes that would be protected by Kenya's constitution.
     
    Kenya has never had the post of prime minister.

    Suspended talks

    Annan had suspended talks on Tuesday after negotiators for either side could not agree on a deal.

    Primary in disagreements was the level of power to be assigned to the prime minister.
     
    The crisis started after presidential elections on December 27 were disputed. The ODM claimed the election had been rigged.
     
    More than 1,500 people have died in inter-tribal rioting and clashes since the poll.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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