Friday, February 29

Responses to Kenya agreement

Here's what some folks have said about the power-sharing agreement signed yesterday:

Mwai Kibaki: "This process has reminded us that as a nation, there are more issues that unite us instead of divide us." (Bloomberg)

Raila Odinga: "We should begin to ensure that Kenyans begin to celebrate and love each other, that we destroy the monster called ethnicity(Reuters)...Kenya has been known the world over for its running athletes. This is another opportunity for Kenya to show the world its many attributes besides athletics" (Nation).

Jakaya Kikwete, Tanzanian president, African Union chair:
"The signatures alone mean nothing if there is no commitment to implement what has been agreed" (FT).

Alfred Mutua
, government spokesman: "The outside pressure was relatively important. We are responsive to our neighbors and friends."(NYT)

John Githongo, former anti-corruption adviser."At least it is a promise. It's a foundation on which we can build." (Bloomberg)

Joel Barkan, Center for Strategic and International Studies: "Both sides had to swallow hard. I think, given the sequencing of it, President Kibaki had to swallow a little harder at the end. But you may remember that in the immediate aftermath of the election, Raila Odinga was calling on President Kibaki to resign and the election should be run over, and they did not recognize President Kibaki as the head of state. They have accepted that.

The broad parameters of this deal, that is to say, the creation of a prime ministership, were actually part of an MOU signed in 2002 between Mwai Kibaki, when he was campaigning for president and Raila Odinga, who joined him in a National Rainbow Coalition in the run-up to that election, that they would create a dual executive at that time, with Kibaki being president and Raila being prime minister. That understanding was basically not implemented by President Kibaki after he was elected, and you’ve had a festering situation ever since" (VOA).

Francois Grignon, International Crisis Group: "The constitutional amendments will tell us exactly who does what, what the prime minister can do precisely, because right now all we have are principles. Until we have practical answers, we're in a situation in which a small incident can escalate into a large-scale confrontation.'' (Bloomberg)

No comments: