Cablegate: Kenya's Political Crisis: Text of February 28
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SUBJECT: KENYA'S POLITICAL CRISIS: TEXT OF FEBRUARY 28
1. On February 28, President Mwai Kibaki and opposition
leader Raila Odinga signed a much awaited power-sharing
agreement in Nairobi, paving the way for a coalition
government. The text of the agreement and its proposed
companion legislation, which will be considered by Parliament
when it convenes on March 6, follow:
2. Begin text
ACTING TOGETHER FOR KENYA
AGREEMENT ON THE PRINCIPLES OF PARTNERSHIP OF THE
The crisis triggered by the 2007 disputed presidential
elections has brought to the surface deep-seated and
long-standing divisions within Kenyan society. If left
unaddressed, these divisions threaten the very existence of
Kenya as a unified country. The Kenyan people are now looking
to their leaders to ensure that their country will not be
Given the current situation, neither side can realistically
govern the country without the other. There must be real
power-sharing to move the country forward and begin the
healing and reconciliation process.
With this agreement, we are stepping forwarding together, as
political leaders, to overcome the current crisis and to set
the country on a new path. As partners in a coalition
government, we commit ourselves to work together in good
faith as true partners, through constant consultation and
willingness to compromise.
This agreement is designed to create an environment conducive
to such a partnership and to build mutual trust and
confidence. It is not about creating positions that reward
individuals. It seeks to enable Kenya's political leaders to
look beyond partisan considerations with a view to promoting
the greater interests of the nation as a whole. It provides
the means to implement a coherent and far-reaching reform
agenda, to address the fundamental root causes of recurrent
conflict, and to create a better, more secure, more
prosperous Kenya for all.
To resolve the political crisis, and in the spirit of
coalition and partnership, we have agreed to enact the
National Accord and Reconciliation Act 2008, whose provisions
have been agreed upon in their entirety by the parties hereto
and a draft copy thereof is appended hereto.
Its key points are:
-- There will be a Prime Minister of the Government of Kenya,
with authority to coordinate and supervise the execution of
the functions and affairs of the Government of Kenya.
-- The Prime Minister will be an elected member of the
National Assembly and the parliamentary leader of the largest
party in the National Assembly, or of a coalition, if the
largest party does not command a majority.
-- Each member of the coalition shall nominate one person
from the National Assembly to be appointed a Deputy Prime
-- The Cabinet will consist of the President, the
Vice-President, the Prime Minister, the two Deputy Prime
Ministers and the other Ministers. The removal of any
Minister of the coalition will be subject to consultation and
concurrence in writing by the leaders.
-- The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers can only be
removed if the National Assembly passes a motion of no
confidence with a majority vote.
-- The composition of the coalition government will at all
times take into account the principle of portfolio balance
and will reflect their relative parliamentary strength.
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-- The coalition will be dissolved if the Tenth Parliament is
dissolved; or if the parties agree in writing; or if one
coalition partner withdraws from the coalition.
-- The National Accord and Reconciliation Act shall be
entrenched in the Constitution.
Having agreed on the critical issues above, we will now take
this process to Parliament. It will be convened at the
earliest moment to enact these agreements. This will be in
the form of an Act of Parliament and the necessary amendment
to the Constitution.
We believe by these steps we can together in the spirit of
partnership bring peace and prosperity back to the people of
Kenya who so richly deserve it.
Agreed this date 28 February 2008
Hon. Raila Odinga H.E. President Mwai Kibaki
Orange Democratic Movement Government/Party of
H.E. Kofi A. Annan H.E. Jakaya Kikwete
Chairman of the Panel President of the United
of Eminent African Persons Republic of Tanzania
and Chairman of the
The National Accord and Reconciliation Act 2008
There is a crisis in this country. The Parties have come
together in recognition of this crisis, and agree that a
political solution is required.
Given the disputed elections and the divisions in the
Parliament and the country, neither side is able to govern
without the other. There needs to be real power sharing to
move the country forward.
A coalition must be a partnership with commitment on both
sides to govern together and push through a reform agenda for
the benefit of all Kenyans.
Description of the Act:
An Act of Parliament to provide for the settlement of the
disputes arising from the presidential elections of 2007,
formation of a Coalition Government and Establishment of the
Offices of Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers and
Ministers of the Government of Kenya, their functions and
various matters connected with and incidental to the
1. This Act may be cited as the National Accord and
Reconciliation Act 2008.
2. This Act shall come into force upon its publication in the
Kenya Gazette which shall not be later than 14 days from the
date of Assent.
3. (1) There shall be a Prime Minister of the Government of
Kenya and two Deputy Prime Ministers who shall be appointed
by the President in accordance with this section.
-- (2) The person to be appointed as Prime Minister shall be
an elected member of the National Assembly who is the
parliamentary leader of -
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(a) the political party that has the largest number of
members in the National Assembly; or
(b) a coalition of political parties in the event that the
leader of the political party that has the largest number of
members of the National Assembly does not command the
majority in the National Assembly.
-- (3) Each member of the coalition shall nominate one person
from the elected members of the National Assembly to be
appointed a Deputy Prime Minister.
4. (1) The Prime Minister:
a) shall have authority to coordinate and supervise the
execution of the functions and affairs of the Government of
Kenya including those of Ministries;
b) may assign any of the coordination responsibilities of
his office to the Deputy Prime Ministers, as well as one of
them to deputise for him;
c) shall perform such other duties as may be assigned to
him by the President or under any written law.
-- (2) In the formation of the coalition government, the
persons to be appointed as Ministers and Assistant Ministers
from the political parties that are partners in the coalition
other than the President,s party, shall be nominated by the
parliamentary leader of the party in the coalition.
Thereafter there shall be full consultation with the
President on the appointment of all Ministers.
-- (3) The composition of the coalition government shall at
all times reflect the relative parliamentary strengths of the
respective parties and shall at all times take into account
the principle of portfolio balance.
-- (4) The office of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime
Minister shall become vacant only if -
a) the holder of the office dies, resigns or ceases to be a
member of the National
Assembly otherwise than by reason of the dissolution of
b) the National Assembly passes a resolution which is
supported by a majority of
all the members of the National Assembly excluding the
ex-officio members and of which not less than seven days
notice has been given declaring that the National Assembly
has no confidence in the Prime Minister or Deputy Prime
Minister, as the case may be; or
c)the coalition is dissolved.
-- (5) The removal of any Minister nominated by a
parliamentary party of the coalition shall be made only after
prior consultation and concurrence in writing with the leader
of that party.
5. The Cabinet shall consist of the President, the
Vice-President, the Prime Minister, the two Deputy Prime
Ministers and the other Ministers.
6. The coalition shall stand dissolved if:
(a) the Tenth Parliament is dissolved; or
(b) the coalition parties agree in writing; or
(c) one coalition partner withdraws from the coalition by a
resolution of the highest decision-making organ of that party
7. The prime minister and deputy prime ministers shall be
entitled to such salaries, allowances, benefits, privileges
and emoluments as may be approved by Parliament from time to
8. This Act shall cease to apply upon dissolution of the
tenth Parliament, if the coalition is dissolved, or a new
constitution is enacted, whichever is earlier.