Kenya opposes President Bush’s power-sharing proposal

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Kenyan government has thrown new obstacles to a power-sh aring accord expected to be reached on Tuesday, saying US proposals for a coalition government were “counter-productive.” The government also insisted the Kenyan constitution does not have provisions for a coalition government and warned that it was not ready for “dictatorial” terms on a new government.

Kenya’s Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula has scoffed at US President George Bush ‘s call for a power-sharing agreement to end the post-election stalemate, saying it was not within the constitution.

Speaking on Sunday ahead of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s visit to Kenya, Wetengula said Nairobi would not be dictated to on the kind of political settlement to end the deadlock. “We see it within the context of opinion. The solution must be Kenyan. We will not arrive at a solution because A and B has said this is the solution. “The solution must be Kenyan and must meet the interest of Kenyans…We are not anybody’s colony,” Wetangula said.

President Bush has dispatched the Secretary of State to spearhead efforts to end the political stalemate in Kenya following the post-election crisis. “The key is that the leaders hear from her (Rice) first hand that the United States desires to see there be no violence, and that there be a power-sharing agreement that will help this nation resolve its difficulties,” President Bush was quoted as saying on arrival in Benin.

Wetengula said: “We are expecting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice tomorrow (Monday), arriving mid-morning for a one-day visit.”

Rice will hold a meeting with President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga.
“She is coming to facilitate the national dialogue led by Kofi Annan. As a government, we welcome the visit. We have no doubt the visit will serve to deepen the cordial relationship between Kenya and the US.”

The government is committed to finding immediate and long-term solutions to the crisis the country is facing, he said. “For our friends who have shown keen interest, while we welcome views, proposals , at the end of the day, the problems will be solved by Kenyans, anything less would be superficial and counter-productive. Both sides are committed to finding a lasting solution,” Wetangula said.

He said the “US should avoid using dictatorial language that you must do this or that, even though we encourage our friends to support us. “They should not make mistakes, saying this must be done. Examples all over the world show agreements reached through arm-twisting collapse even before the ink dries.”

Kenyan authorities have failed to condemn demonstrations against President Bush’ s Africa visit and the burning of US and United Kingdom flags in President Kibaki’s home turf in Othaya, Nyeri. The demonstrators also burnt President Bush’s effigy. “Those people were expressing their freedom of association. Everybody has a righ t to freedom of expression,” Wetangula said.

by panapress

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