Kenya’s PM urges political unity

August 11, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 11 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has called for a complete end to the supremacy wars between the parties in the ruling coalition as the country embarks on implementing the new Constitution endorsed last week.

He said on Tuesday that huge sections of the new Constitution could be implemented ahead of deadlines if the leaders and their supporters join hands.

“There are specified timelines in the implementation of the Constitution. But we are likely to stay ahead of all those deadlines if we carry on with the spirit seen during the campaign,” the PM said.

The PM was speaking during a meeting with US ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger at his Karen residence.

This was the first meeting between the PM and the ambassador since the proposed Constitution was endorsed on August 4.

He called on Kenyans to rally behind the new Constitution regardless of how they voted and for the international community to help the country where need arises during implementation.

The PM singled out drafting of new laws to anchor the new constitution as one area where the government is likely to require additional expertise and technical support.

“The work of reconstructing this country has to begin now and it will require a bipartisan approach. We will not rebuild or accomplish anything if we face the future as ODM or PNU,” the PM said.

The Prime Minister said the government is giving equal priority to implementation of the provisions of the new constitution and creating harmony in the country.

Describing the passage of the new Constitution as a milestone mid-term achievement for the Grand Coalition, the PM said he and the President have agreed to prioritise creation of harmony in the country.

He said he and the President plan to tour parts of the country to explain the virtues of the new Constitution and create confidence in the document.

“We will reach out to all Kenyans and explain provisions of the new Constitution whose significance may have been lost in the campaign. We want to reassure Kenyans that no harm will come their way just because of this new Constitution,” the PM said.

He said the virtues of the smaller units provided for in the new Constitution is one of what was not properly understood in sections of the country during the campaign.

“We need to explain why the units we have created in the new Constitution will make lives better for our people than the large administrative units like provinces we have today,” he said.

Mr Ranneberger said he had visited the PM to get a sense of the government’s plans after the passage of the constitution.

He congratulated President Kibaki and the Prime Minister for successfully campaigning for the new Constitution and resolving the impasse over the leader of government business in Parliament.

“Things look great and positive for Kenya. I want to appeal to you Mr Prime Minister not to lose the momentum,” the ambassador said.


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