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Ex-Kenya Official Calls for Government Dissolution Over Row

  • Peter Clottey

A former Kenyan official says the coalition government should be dissolved because it has outlasted its usefulness following the ongoing row between President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

A former Kenyan official says the coalition government should be dissolved because it has outlasted its usefulness following the ongoing row between President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

But former Deputy Information Minister Koigi Wamwere says the administration is unlikely to collapse despite deep rifts within the coalition government.

“From outside it might look like that might be the eventuality to the events that are now happening. But when you look deeply to the mood of thought to the principals involved in this conflict, you will see that it is unlikely that they will let the government collapse,” he said.

Wamere’s call comes after ministers from Prime Minister Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) vowed to indefinitely boycott cabinet meetings until the ongoing row is resolved.

President Kibaki (l) and Prime Minister Raila Odinga (r) signs the agreement that led to the coalition government following the 2007 post-election violence.

President Kibaki (l) and Prime Minister Raila Odinga (r) signs the agreement that led to the coalition government following the 2007 post-election violence.

Ex-deputy minister Wamwere said the ODM boycott threat is aimed at putting more pressure on President Kibaki’s Party of National Unity (PNU) in the unity government.

“Of course the ODM is upping the ante in the struggle for supremacy, which is also a struggle for resources through corruption. But I don’t see them winning because the ODM does not stand as one party anymore. It is split and the faction that is led by William Ruto (Agricultural minister) is on the side of the president,” Wamwere said.

Kenya media reported seeming cracks within the ODM party after re-instated Agricultural Minister William Ruto and Najib Balala, minister of tourism said they will attend cabinet meetings despite the announced boycott.

Wamwere said Kenyans want stability in the government ahead of a possible election.

“I think that the public would rather the current stability is maintained rather than disrupted because they don’t identify with the infighting in government, which they clearly and well understand to their struggle within the elite. And they know when the elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers,” Wamwere said.

Meanwhile, the ODM party is also threatening to oppose the ongoing draft constitution that could pave the way for the next general elections -- a move political analyst say could plunge the country into a constitutional crisis.

But Wamwere said the ODM is unlikely to succeed in preventing the constitution from coming into effect.

“If the Raila wing of the ODM opposes the draft of the constitution, the worst they can do is to bring about the defeat of the new constitution in the referendum. But I don’t think they enjoy the numbers anymore. The ODM is a split party and whether the faction that has defected or that is not with Raila is a minority or a majority combined with the PNU side, obviously it forms a sort of a majority that will very easily defeat whatever machinations the Raila wing comes up with,” he said.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga has called on former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to help resolve escalating tensions within the coalition government.

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