NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 15 – President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga moved to forestall a split within the Grand Coalition government on Thursday by appointing a top level committee to handle wrangles between the coalition partners.,
The Permanent Committee has been tasked with handling the management of the affairs of the coalition.
Political analysts have in the recent past expressed concerns that current divisions over various issues in the coalition were likely to affect the delicate Grand Coalition union.
The coalition partners have differed over the role of public service head Francis Muthaura, the controversial media law, the setting up of a transition team to replace the Electoral Commission of Kenya among other issues.
The Party of National Unity (PNU) and the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) who form the coalition, will each have a representation of six members to the new panel.
"The committee comprises twelve members, six from each side of the grand coalition and include, the President, the PM, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and the two Deputy Prime Ministers," a statement from the Presidential Press Service said.
Also in the panel are cabinet ministers: George Saitoti (Internal Security), William Ruto (Agriculture), Moses Wetangula, (Foreign Affairs), Mohammed Elmi, Chirau Ali Mwakwere(Transport), Jaffa Kingi and James Orengo(Lands).
Conspicuously absent from the list is Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Martha Karua. Ms Karua has been against PNU and has announced that she will run for the presidency in 2012 on a Narc Kenya ticket.