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Keep off campaigns, urges Kenya PM

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 28 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has criticised politicians who have engaged in premature campaigns for the next general elections saying it would scuttle the reform agenda.

The PM pointed out that the country was on the threshold of realising far reaching reforms and putting the country in an election mood would politically charge the environment and derail the reform agenda.

He said: “We have just emerged from a bruising election, and the last thing Kenyans want is to be put in an election mood.”

The PM cautioned leaders who had engaged in the premature campaigns that they will not be taken seriously even if they pretended to involve themselves in government work as they would be deemed to be campaigning.

“I would like to visit all corners of this country as the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya and not as a presidential candidate for 2012,” he emphasised.

The Prime Minister was giving a key note address on the occasion of European Development Days on Wednesday.

He said it was gratifying to note that the country had emerged from an atmosphere of fear and suspicion that had polarised Kenyans along ethnic or party lines and embarked on a reform agenda that would propel the country from a struggling economy to a middle income economy as envisaged in vision 2030.

Mr Odinga stated that events of the post election violence were a wakeup for the country. He said Kenyans had realised that the country was bigger than individuals and agreed to bond for the sake of the country.

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He said the pace of reforms has now picked and is expected to accelerate in the next few months. The PM defended the initial perceived slow pace saying the coalition government took time to agree but has now gained consensus on most issues.

Mr Odinga called on politicians to keep off the campaign mood and rather concentrate their energies in supporting the reform agenda.

"We still have three more years to the next elections, lets concentrate on the reforms for now," he said.


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