Thursday, February 28, 2008


After signing of the Kenya's Annan deal, full details appended here, Kenya could be inching away from a Grand Coalition...We can reliably say...

After weeks of intense negotiations that appeared on the brink of collapse, President Mwai Kibaki and Opposition leader Raila Odinga finally signed a breakthrough deal Thursday in which they will share power on a 50-50 basis.

The two leaders, sitting side by side, signed the accord on the doorsteps of the President's Harambee House office, as the chief mediator Kofi Annan, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, and several politicians looked on.

The signing, done with flourish and decorum, was broadcast live on local television, and as Kenyans watched President Kibaki and Odinga both committed to ensuring the peace deal was implemented to the letter.

The agreement says ‘that there be an Act of Parliament to provide for the formation of a coalition government, through the establishment of the offices of a Prime Minister, two Deputy Prime Ministers and their predetermined functions.’
The Act was cited as the National Accord and Reconciliation Act 2008, and is due to come into force in a fortnight, when it would be published in a Kenya Gazette notice.

To facilitate this President Kibaki has reconvened Parliament next Thursday, March 6th, so that the legislation can be passed to seal this historic deal.

The pact stipulates that the new officers would be appointed by the Head of State, and that the Prime Minister be the Parliamentary leader of a political party that has the largest number of MPs; a coalition of parties in the event that the leader of that political party does not command the majority in the National Assembly.

These regulations were spelt out by Kofi Annan, who took the podium and pressed upon Kenyans that ‘finally, we have a deal’.

He said the discussions on power-sharing were tough, and would have been impossible without compromise.

“In all successful negotiations, there is give and take. Some supporters on each side feel that their negotiators gave too much. I would say this; compromise was necessary for the survival of this country.”

“Support this agreement for it is the key to unity of Kenya,” he finished.

Annan illustrated that the deal would put a solid end to the political crisis that bedevilled the country after the December general election, leading to the deaths of more than 1,000 people and the displacement of hundreds of thousands.

“Let the spirit of healing begin today. Let it begin now,” Annan cajoled.

Kikwete, who is also the African Union (AU), was the next to speak and he equated the decision by the two leaders to a great love for the country.

He said the power was vested on the Kenyan people to ensure the pact remains successful.

"The AU will always be on the side of the people of Kenya as you strive to get back to normalcy," Kikwete assured.

Raila Odinga, on his part, said the ball was now in Parliament’s court, to carry out the necessary amendments to create the positions that had been agreed upon.

He said time had come when Kenyans should rise above individual interests and preached reconciliation among all Kenyans.

"We have begun a journey, and we are going to walk together. I can see light at the end of the tunnel," Odinga said, as for the first time, he referred to the President as ‘Your Excellency President Mwai Kibaki’.

President Kibaki concluded the event by saying: “I am happy that today we have signed an agreement that marks the success of the talks that were ably chaired by Dr Kofi Annan."
The Head of State asked Kenyans to start getting involved in productive economic activities, and move on from the hurts of the past.

The President pledged that the government would continue taking care of the several thousands displaced by last month’s violence and added that the state would also supply farmers with seeds ahead of the planting season.

In the deal, the coalition government would be disbanded upon the dissolution of the 10th Parliament, if the parties disagree in writing or with the withdrawal of one of the parties to the pact.

The signing ceremony was officiated by Attorney General Amos Wako and Lawyer James Orengo.