- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 13, 2008

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — President Mwai Kibaki named rival Raila Odinga as prime minister today, implementing a power-sharing deal after protracted negotiations over the agreement they signed more than a month ago.

The two leaders had agreed to share power after weeks of deadly violence following the country’s disputed presidential election in December left more than 1,000 people dead and around 300,000 displaced.

The men were expected to announce a new coalition government once parliament quickly passed laws to legalize the power-sharing deal, but they did not work out how to implement the accord, with both sides trying to secure the most powerful positions in a new Cabinet.

Kibaki, speaking in a speech broadcast live on television today, named Musalia Mudavadi, the second in command in Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement, as deputy prime minister.

Also named as a deputy prime minister in the new coalition Cabinet is Uhuru Kenyatta, an ally of Kibaki and a son of Kenya’s independence hero and first president Jomo Kenyatta.

Kibaki named 40 Cabinet ministers in keeping with the number he had agreed with Odinga on April 3, but going against demands by ordinary citizens and lobby groups to announce a lean Cabinet.

The Cabinet posts are divided equally between Kibaki’s Party of National Unity and allied parties, and the Orange Democratic Movement, which is one of the key provisions in the power-sharing deal Kibaki and Odinga signed on Feb. 28.

Kibaki and Odinga had said they would announce a new Cabinet on April 6, but they did not do so after failing to reach agreement on how to divide a 40-member Cabinet.

Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement party had suspended talks with Kibaki on Tuesday, saying the president must first dissolve the Cabinet that existed then and share the posts equally.

The public has grown increasingly impatient with Kibaki and Odinga. For three days this week, scuffles broke out in Kenya’s largest slum, Kibera, between the police and people protesting the Cabinet delay. There were no reports of injuries.

Kibera was the scene of some of the worst postelection violence in January and February.

Kibaki and Odinga also came under international pressure this week to reach agreement, with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice calling them on Monday and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband expressing dismay at the delay.


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