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Kenya's Opposition Party Appears to Win Election


In Kenya, the opposition National Rainbow Coalition has won the presidency and a clear majority in parliament, according to preliminary results.

Opposition leader Mwai Kibaki is expected to be named the winner of the presidential elections when final results are in later Sunday, breaking the ruling party's 39-year hold on power.

A senior member of the opposition alliance, Raila Odinga, said the coming to power of the opposition marks the dawn of a new era for Kenya.

Mr. Odinga said opposition leader Mwai Kibaki and his National Rainbow Coalition will transform Kenya.

"This is a complete departure from the status quo. We represent change," he said. "Our platform has been change from the past. We want to transform this society and make it modern again. We have said that we want to revamp the economy of this country. We have said that we want to democratize the society, to create the proper institutions of governance."

Mr Odinga said the opposition's landslide victory over the ruling Kenya African National Union, or KANU party, will help it implement its ambitious reform agenda.

"The kind of majority we have achieved is necessary for the government to take some of the very painful decisions that have to be taken, in order to jump start the economy of this country," he said. "We need that kind of comfortable majority, people who share the same values we do, and we are really very happy for what has happened."

Mwai Kibaki is to be inaugurated as Kenya's third president on Monday, once the election results are confirmed.

The outgoing KANU party has been in power continuously, since Kenya gained independence from Britain nearly 40 years ago.

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