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Kenyan politics – still on the radar

President Mwai Kibaki, from the PNU party, and prime minister Raila Odinga, of the ODM party, are known antagonists. However, their positions within Kenya’s grand political coalition was the solution Kofi Annan settled on after violence broke out following the 2007 elections.

Since the coalition was established political wrangling has been confined to verbal backstabbing and internal bickering. In late February tensions rose between the two leading men after Odinga tried to suspend two government ministers who were being investigated for corruption. Kibaki went against Odinga’s decision, stating he was the only one that could suspend ministers. "This issue was blown out of portion for a few days," says Joe Delvaux, a research analyst from Insparo, a fund investing in Africa. "People are so sensitive to political sparring that some speculated that this difference in interpretation of the constitution could have led to a breakdown in the coalition. I think they were a long way off anything like that."

During Euromoney’s stay in Nairobi the two ruling men came together and supported constitutional reform aimed at preventing a fresh outbreak of violence following the 2012 elections and improving Kenya’s democratic standing. The reform is being discussed in hearings that will be presided over by six Kenyan judges and three international judges for the next few months with a national referendum planned for August 2010.

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