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Kenya Rivals Trade Accusations Over Cabinet Deadlock


Kenyan political leaders are blaming each other for the impasse in talks over a proposed power-sharing Cabinet, seen as crucial to ending months of post-election crisis.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga did not attend a meeting with President Mwai Kibaki Monday to discuss the make-up of the Cabinet. He said Mr. Kibaki and his Party of National Unity have gone to "astonishing lengths" to monopolize power.

Mr. Kibaki said Mr. Odinga has failed to "engage constructively" in talks.

The two men signed a power-sharing deal in February. It calls for Mr. Odinga to serve as prime minister, and for Cabinet portfolios to be split evenly between Mr. Kibaki's PNU and Mr. Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement.

The European Union has expressed concern over the deadlock and urged the parties to form an effective and efficient coalition government soon.

The EU reiterated its commitment to support "meaningful power-sharing" and work with the new government once it is formed.

This is the second time in two days that a decision on the new Cabinet has been postponed. The two leaders were supposed to name the Cabinet Sunday, but instead held another meeting.

The dispute has raised concern that the power-sharing agreement brokered by former U.N. chief Kofi Annan could fall apart.

Mr. Annan intervened after weeks of riots and ethnic violence across Kenya that killed more than 1,000 people.

The violence was triggered by the dispute over December's presidential election, which the opposition says were rigged.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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