Kenya's parliament set to cement power-sharing deal
(dpa) - Kenya's parliament was set to reopen Thursday, one week after rival politicians agreed to form a coalition government to end the crisis over disputed elections that turned neighbour on neighbour, leaving more than 1,000 dead.
President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister-designate Raila Odinga, who fell out over December's polls, met their party's legislators ahead of the opening and urged them to see through the necessary constitutional changes to allow the power-sharing to proceed.
Kenyans were relieved when Odinga and Kibaki signed the agreement last week, but the country remains volatile, with residents eager to see the promises of reform fulfilled.
"Unity of purpose among MPs is vital if we are to realize the legal and institutional reforms that this country badly needs," the independent Daily Nation newspaper wrote.
The ethnic violence that displaced more than 300,000 people was touched off by the flawed polls, but the heart of the conflict lies in feelings of marginalization and resentment against Kibaki's Kikuyu tribe, who have held the levers of power in Kenya since independence from Britain in 1963.
The power-sharing deal brokered by former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan is set to create the post of a prime minister and split cabinet positions between Odinga and Kibaki's parties.