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Addressing Constitutional Reform Critical Says Kenyan Lawyer

Kenyan negotiators have begun discussing long-term reforms following the signing of a power-sharing agreement by president Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Representatives for both sides met in Nairobi Friday to discuss land distribution, ethnic relations, and constitutional reform. Those issues helped fuel the deadly violence that exploded across Kenya after December’s disputed presidential election.

Okongo Omogeni is chairman of the Law Society of Kenya. He told VOA’s Akwei Thompson that the most critical aspect that should be tackled “as soon as possible” is the constitutional reform “…because if you address the issue of constitutional reform, you’ll certainly look at the historical problem that has been with us for a very long time and that is the equal sharing of national resources.”

Omogeni said the constitutional reform should also be able to address the ministerial powers of the presidency that Kenyans have been clamoring to change for a long time. It should also address the issue of creating a governance structure for the country that does not concentrate power on one individual, he added.