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Kenya parliament considers power-sharing deal

[JURIST] The Parliament of Kenya [official website] met Thursday to discuss a power sharing deal [JURIST report] between Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki [official profile] and opposition candidate Raila Odinga [campaign profile] that could put an end the violence that began in the wake of December's disputed presidential election [JURIST report]. On February 14, Kibaki and Odinga agreed to write a new constitution [JURIST report] that will create a prime minister's post for Odinga, among other changes. Speaking before the parliament, Kibaki urged lawmakers to support the agreement. AFP has more. Reuters has additional coverage.

Kenya's controversial presidential vote has sparked simmering ethnic tensions in the country, where Kibaki has long been accused of using his position to favor members of the Kikuyu tribe. Fueling accusations of malfeasance, Kibaki won the December 27 election despite early opinion polls that placed rival candidate Odinga in the lead. Thousands of opposition supporters took to the streets following the election, which prompted the government to temporarily ban public rallies and institute a curfew in Nairobi, the capital city. In all, over 1,000 people have been killed and 250,000 displaced since protests began. Thirteen nations, including several European Union members and the United States, have threatened to cut off aid [JURIST report] to the Kenyan government until the crisis is resolved and democracy is restored. Odinga's opposition party, the Orange Democratic Movement filed a formal complaint [JURIST report] in January with the International Criminal Court [official website], alleging that Kibaki's administration has committed crimes against humanity while using force against demonstrators.

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