The first day of Koffi Annan led mediation talks indicates that there is light at end of the dark political tunnel, we can authoritatively reveal.
It looks like Kenya is headed for a power sharing deal that may also see the country establish a truth, justice and reconciliation committee. The grand coalition will operate on consensus and will see significant decentralization of executive power by the president.
As a matter of priority, the current Electoral Commission of Kenya will be disbanded and a new representative one constituted to oversee preparation for future (general) elections.
Whereas the ODM was initially pushing for a short term transitional government that would prepare for a re-run of the presidential polls, the party has significantly thawed and is ready to accept a power sharing deal with its bitter rival PNU. On the other hand, the PNU camp feels its candidate won the presidential polls 'fairly' and that a re-run is not an option. The ruling party prefers to incorporate members of the ODM into Kibaki’s vacant cabinet positions as a way of appeasing them and their supporters. The PNU is also open to the coalition idea but are reluctant to see presidential powers devolved.
It would appear that ODM/NARC are seeking permanent and independent share of political power for their parties as opposed to being mere appointees of PNU’s President Kibaki. In other words, ODM/NARC are avoiding the same treatment the LDP received during the initial days of Kibaki’s first term as a NARC president.
It is significant that both Museveni and Annan have adopted a straight shooting one-on-one approach with the key protagonist whom many believed are driven to their hardline positions by allies surrounding them. It is widely feared by the international community that the collapse of Kenya will be catastrophic and have far reaching implications on the entire African continent.
Going by the closely contested results of the presidential and parliamentary polls; political observers foresee the formation of a balanced grand coalition government which will be facilitated by constitutional amendments when parliament reconvenes.
Each of the two major partners will be allocated top positions in government and each will have some degree of executive power which will enable them draw their own line-up of select members of cabinet.
This proposed grand coalition, having a total of 34 members of cabinet, will be structured along this forecast:
Mwai Kibaki (PNU) – President & Head of State
Kalonzo Musyoka (ODM-K) - Vice President & Deputy Head of State
15 Cabinet Positions - PNU/ODM-K/KANU/A.N. OTHER
Raila Odinga – Prime Minister & Leader of Parliamentary Business
Musalia Mudavadi – Deputy Prime Minister
15 Cabinet Positions - ODM/NARC/A.N. OTHER
(Sounds to me like the Bomas Draft)
But then, what does such an arrangement mean for multi-party democracy?
Is this an introduction of a new constitution through the back-door?
This is apparently the cost of achieving lasting peace and moving on after the highly controversial and violent 27 December general elections.
What is your take?