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Make the coalition last, govt asked

NAIROBI, April 15 – Kenyan leaders have been urged to work on keeping the Grand Coalition alive so that it could last for the next five years.

German Ambassador Walter Lindner Tuesday emphasised the need for players in the coalition government to work hard and keep it united.

The sentiments come following the naming of the grand coalition Cabinet by President Mwai Kibaki.

Drawing a parallel from Germany, Lindner pointed out that a coalition government leads to more consensus based politics, in that a government comprising differing parties would need to concur with regards to governmental policy.

He said a coalition government had the advantage of reflecting the popular opinion of the electorate within a country.

Those who disapprove of coalition governments believe that such regimes have a tendency to fracture and were prone to disharmony.

Lindner pointed out that this was because coalitions include different parties with differing beliefs and who, therefore, may not always agree on the correct path for governmental policy.

He also said that such governments, if they controlled the parliamentary majority, could collude to make house discussions irrelevant, by consistently disregarding the arguments of the opposition and voting against the opposition’s proposals.

Hailing from a country governed by coalition partners, Lindner said leaders need to be ready to address and resolve the disputes bound to emerge.

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“Be ready for some unpleasant surprises because there is always crisis in coalitions and there will be problems,” he warned.

The envoy further stressed the need to put up structures that would ensure that conflicts within the coalition are dealt with expeditiously. 

You have to find solutions for those problems and put up mechanisms to deal with them,” brought out Lindner. 
Speaking on Capital in the Morning, he pointed out that the coalition government must urgently address the challenges that face the country.

“The important thing is that people get to work and set politics aside. There are so many things out there such that we cannot lose focus,” he stressed.


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