Kenya opposition plans new protest

Kenya's opposition yesterday accused the government of backing away from plans to share power after a deeply flawed presidential election and called for nationwide protests, raising fears of new violence.

Both sides are engaged in lengthy and often bitter negotiations to end the deadlock over the December 27 vote, which the opposition says was stolen. Widespread fighting that killed more than 1,000 people in the weeks after the election has largely subsided, but this once-stable African country remains on edge.

A power-sharing deal between President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga seemed imminent last week, but the breakthrough never came.

After four hours of intense talks yesterday morning, the negotiators "made almost no progress toward reaching an agreement," despite being given the whole weekend to consult on their positions, mediator Kofi Annan said in a statement.

The former UN secretary-general said he suspended the afternoon session to confer directly with Odinga and Kibaki and urge them to resolve their differences.

Annan said the mediation team "has done its work. I'm now asking the party leaders ... to do theirs."

A source close to the negotiations who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks said that Annan believed that if there was genuine political will, a resolution could have been reached a week or two ago.

The opposition Orange Democratic Movement, meanwhile, filed notice giving police the required three days' notice for a gathering planned Thursday. Past protests have descended into violence as police forced back crowds.

The party already had threatened mass protests if a deal is not reached by Wednesday, and the filing was a clear sign they believe the talks could falter.

Opposition negotiator William Ruto accused the government side of "changing their mind over sharing power." He declined to offer further details. Government negotiator Mutula Kilonzo denied any change in position.

"This is not correct at all," Kilonzo told The Associated Press, adding: "They thought this was a picnic where they would walk in and take over the government."

Kibaki was declared winner of the presidential vote, giving him a second five-year term, after Odinga's lead evaporated overnight. International and local election monitors have said the results of the vote were manipulated, making it unclear who would have won.

Negotiators for Kibaki and Odinga have agreed in principle to create a new prime minister's post for the opposition, but sticking points remain over just how much power such a post would carry.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future