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Kenyan president urges MPs to back power-sharing deal

The Kenyan president, Mwai Kibaki Mwai Kibaki (born November 15, 1931) is the President of Kenya. Kibaki was previously Vice President (1978 - 1988), and has held several other cabinet positions, including Minister for Finance (1978 - 1981), Minister for Home Affairs (1982 - 1988) and Minister for Health (1988 - , has urged MPs from all sides to back a power-sharing deal in the country's parliament, seeking to end weeks of violence since his disputed re-election.

The pact involves Kibaki continuing as president but serving alongside his rival, Raila Odinga Raila Amollo Odinga (born 1945) is a Kenyan Member of Parliament, and was, until November 23 2005 a Cabinet Minister in the Ministry of Roads, Public Works and Housing. He is the son of the first Vice President of Kenya Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. , who will become prime minister.

Parliament will have to pass into law the power-sharing agreement, which was reached last Thursday after talks led by the former UN secretary general Kofi Annan Kofi Atta Annan (born April 8, 1938) is a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1 1997 to January 1 2007, serving two five-year terms. He was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001. .

Kenya's MPs are due to vote on the deal today after parliament is convened by Kibaki.

In a speech before the session, Kibaki said the vote was a political "turning point".

"I appeal to you all to be guided by a strong sense of national unity, which must override all partisan considerations," Reuters quoted him saying.

"I urge all honourable members to support the proposed legislative measures which will go a long way in ensuring peace and stability in our country.

"The launch of this grand coalition is a clear signal that although loud debates may attract a lot of attention, we can achieve a lot together through quiet dialogue."

Up to 1,200 people have been killed since the presidential election in December, which the opposition claimed was rigged. Among the dead were two MPs.

The speaker of the new parliament, Kenneth Marende, who is from the opposition Orange Democratic Movement Orange Democratic Movement refers to two separate political parties in Kenya, which originated as a single party that was formed as a result of the 2005 Kenyan constitutional referendum. , called for support for the deal.

Speaking to Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper, he said: "I expect the honourable member will rise to the occasion and enact the laws that will return this country to the path of peace, stability and progress. They cannot fail millions of Kenyans who are looking unto them with a lot of expectations."

Both the opposition ODM (Original Design Manufacturer) A contract manufacturer that uses its own designs and intellectual property (IP). See contract manufacturer.  and Kibaki's Party of National Unity say they back the deal. But crucial details have yet to be worked out, including who will chair cabinet meetings and which party will get key ministerial posts.

Meanwhile, the Kenyan government has dismissed as "preposterous" claims by the BBC BBC
 in full British Broadcasting Corp.

Publicly financed broadcasting system in Britain. A private company at its founding in 1922, it was replaced by a public corporation under royal charter in 1927.
 that meetings between officials and a banned militia group were held at Kibaki's official residences.

It is latest in a series of allegations that some of the post-election violence was orchestrated or·ches·trate  
tr.v. or·ches·trat·ed, or·ches·trat·ing, or·ches·trates
1. To compose or arrange (music) for performance by an orchestra.

 by politicians of both sides.
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Date:Mar 6, 2008
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