Kibaki finally meets Raila

February 23, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 23 – President Mwai Kibaki on Tuesday held closed door talks with Prime Minister Raila Odinga at his Harambee House office.

The meeting came barely hours before the opening of the Fourth Session of the 10th Parliament.

Also at the meeting was the Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende, Party of National Unity Chief Whip George Thuo and his Orange Democratic Movement counterpart Jakoyo Midiwo.

Soon after the meeting, Mr Midiwo said the two principals had agreed to work more closely and expected more consultations and meetings in future.

The two principals met for the first time since their row over the suspension of two Cabinet ministers two weeks ago.

The two leaders clashed a week ago after Mr Odinga suspended Agriculture Minister William Ruto and Education Minister Prof Sam Ongeri over corruption allegations in their ministries – but the suspensions were short-lived after President Kibaki reversed the decision hours later.

This prompted Mr Odinga to declare a dispute in the fragile coalition and sought for Africa Union’s intervention.

The PM through his Deputy Musalia Mudavadi wrote to the African Union’s Panel of Eminent African Personalities led by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to intervene in the dispute between the two coalition partners.

However President Mwai Kibaki later sent a statement disputing the claims, and asserted there was no crisis in the country that called for any external intervention.

The President recalled Parliament earlier than expected to facilitate debate on the draft Constitution in conformity with a set deadline.

The Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitution review is expected to receive the document tomorrow and it could be forwarded to the House the next day or early next week for debate.


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