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Former UN Chief Clarifies His Previous Proposal in Kenya Talks


In Kenya, The former United Nations Secretary general Kofi Annan has reportedly said that his initial proposal for a two-year transitional government followed by a presidential election was only his suggestion. This comes after the leader of the government negotiating team protested against Annan’s statement before Kenya’s parliament describing it as inaccurate. The government side said Annan’s proposal has not been discussed and agreed on. The talks between the government and the opposition are aimed at resolving the political crisis following the December 27 disputed presidential poll, which the opposition claims President Mwai Kibaki rigged.

David Musila is a leading member of the ruling party. He tells reporter Peter Clottey from the capital, Nairobi that the government negotiating team was right in its protest.

“To the best of my knowledge, I don’t think the minister, Martha Karua, said that it was secret. What I understood her to say is that the subject of a grand coalition, which His Excellency Kofi Annan told parliament had not been agreed upon by the negotiating team, and that was the gist of the protest,” Musila noted.

He reiterated that the government, in its report to parliament, was taken aback by Kofi Annan’s suggestion about the ongoing talks.

“The brief that Honorable Karua gave was that there suggestion by His Excellency Kofi Annan has not been discussed, and therefore it was stated as if it was discussed and agreed. Today, His Excellency Kofi Annan has clarified that what he told parliament was his own opinion. And indeed he agreed through his press secretary that it had not been agreed upon and it was his suggestion. And I think in my view that matter ended there because there has been a clarification from Kofi Annan I don’t think it would hurt the talks in anyway,” he said.

Musila expressed optimism about the ongoing talks between the government and the opposition to end the political stalemate.

“Indeed the whole Kenyans are hopeful. Indeed we are all hoping that the talks will bear some good news. And ask any Kenyan including Martha Karua, we are all for the success of the dialogue,” Musila said.

He welcomed news reports that both sides in the dialogue have relinquished their entrenched positions in an attempt to resolve Kenya’s political crisis.

“This is a very good news indeed. But as far as we are concerned we have not been given that information, but if that information is true indeed we are happy. But I think it is understood by all sides that they are negotiating for the interest of all Kenyans. Don’t forget they are all Kenyans, and every one of them has the interest of this country at heart,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile both sides of the ongoing talks have reportedly been moved away to a lodge inside Tsavo West National Park in southeastern Kenya. Annan who has been charged by the African Union to mediate between the government and the opposition has imposed a news blackout on the ongoing talks. The talks are widely expected to result in some kind of power-sharing deal between the government and the opposition after the disputed December 27 election.

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