Kenya rivals sign power-sharing deal

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga signed a power-sharing agreement today intended to end a post-election crisis that left 1,000 people dead.





Crowds of onlookers clapped as the two rivals inked a deal at a televised ceremony to set up a coalition government and create a prime minister's post for Odinga after negotiations mediated by former UN chief Kofi Annan.



The two leaders had come under intense pressure to compromise over Kibaki's disputed re-election in a 27 December vote, which forced 300,000 people to flee their homes amid ethnic violence and severely damaged Kenya's reputation as a stable regional economic hub.



Besides the prime minister's job Odinga has sought since he helped first elect Kibaki in 2002, the deal will also give cabinet posts based on each party's strength in parliament.



Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has the largest number of seats.



Cabinet portfolios would be balanced along the same lines, Annan said.



"Compromise was necessary for the survival of this country," Annan said after the signing.



"I commend all those whose efforts have made this possible ... they kept the future of Kenya always in their sights and reached a common position for the good of the nation."



The deal also includes a full review of the constitution, a 45-year-old document which many Kenyans have pushed to change since the 1990s because it gives the president nearly total authority over the affairs of state.









Today's talks brought Odinga and Kibaki to the same table for the first time in a month, after discussions between their parties hit a deadlock earlier in the week.



"As a nation there are more issues that unite than divide us. We've been reminded we must do all in our power to safeguard the peace that is the foundation of our national unity ... Kenya has room for all of us," Kibaki said in his speech afterward.



A beaming Odinga said: "We have opened a new chapter in our history, from the era of confrontation to the beginning of cooperation."



"We should begin to ensure that Kenyans begin to celebrate and love each other, that we destroy the monster that is called ethnicity," he said.



In his opposition stronghold of Kisumu on the shores of Lake Victoria in Kenya's west, residents took to the streets celebrating and ululating over the deal, witnesses said.



The crisis exploded after Kibaki was sworn in on 30 December and Odinga claimed the election was rigged.



Kibaki said he won fairly and blamed his rival for inciting violence and unrest instead of going to court to challenge the result - the closest in Kenya's post-independence history.



Protests turned into riots and looting sprees met with a forceful police response and simultaneously, ethnic attacks by opposition backers on Kibaki's Kikuyu tribe exploded and later unleashed reprisal killings that left at least 1,000 dead.



As the talks got bogged down last week, the opposition threatened to hold more street protests - its only real leverage left - but Odinga called them off after Annan, a former UN secretary-general, asked him to do so.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Neil Young performs on stage at Hyde Park
musicAnd his Hyde Park set has rhyme and reason, writes Nick Hasted
News
Women have been desperate to possess dimples like Cheryl Cole's
people Cole has secretly married French boyfriend Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after just three months.
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Extras
indybestThe tastiest creations for children’s parties this summer
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Paolo Nutini performs at T in the Park
music
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Campaign Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading marketing agency is currently ...

Software Engineer - C++

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Software En...

Software Team Leader - C++

£40000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Software Tea...

Sales Executive - Central London /Home working - £20K-£40K

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Sales Executive - Ce...

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor