Kenya: Grand Coalition law to be debated next week

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A team of three lawyers, led by Kenya’s Attorney-General Amos Wako, that was last week mandated to draft a new law and constitutional amendment bill to pave the way for the creation of the post of prime minister, announced Tuesday that the panel was in the final stages of its work that should ready for debate in parliament next week.

One of the lawyers, opposition lawmaker James Orengo told reporters that the law and subsequent constitutional amendment bill to pave the way for power sharing b etween the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and the ruling Party of National Unity (PNU) was “undergoing fine-tuning” ahead of the opening of parliament Thur sday.

“If the Bill is published Friday, a day after the opening of parliament, it shou ld then take two weeks to complete the necessary legal and constitutional changes to pave the way for a grand collation government,” Mr. Orengo said.

Similar sentiments were expressed by the attorney-general Wako, who is chief government legal advisor, and Mutula Kilonzo, who is part of the government team that took part in the mediation talks under the leadership of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan.

Mr. Kilonzo said the team did not anticipate opposition in parliament when the matter comes up for discussion.

He said the text and content of the agreement signed between PNU and ODM leaders would remain the same except for the legal terms in which the amendment would be crafted.

The talks were necessitated by an electoral dispute between President Mwai Kibak i and opposition leader Raila Odinga after the former was controversially declared winner of the 27 December 2007 election that brought the country on the brink of a civil war. Panapress.

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