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Kenya govt. agrees in principle to PM post

Kenya's government has agreed in principle to create a prime minister's post sought by the opposition, but the terms and duties are still being discussed, a government negotiator said.


Kenya's rival political camps on Thursday haggled over the details of a power-sharing deal that could see the opposition offered a special prime ministerial post.

"The sub-committee on legal affairs has agreed on the creation of the post of a non-executive prime minister but with substantial responsibilities," said Mutula Kilonzo, a government negotiator at crisis talks mediated by former UN chief Kofi Annan.

"We have agreed on the post, but we all know the devil is in the detail. The deal will have to be brought to the whole negotiating committee," another negotiator added.

The United States has pushed hard for a swift power-sharing accord which President Mwai Kibaki has insisted can only be agreed within the confines of the current constitution.

Annan is leading African Union-sponsored mediation efforts between Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga after disputed December elections sparked unrest which killed more than 1,000 people and displaced some 300,000.

Odinga claims Kibaki robbed him of victory by rigging the count. International poll monitors agreed that the exercise was riddled by irregularities.

The Brussels-based International Crisis Group warned Wednesday that hardliners from both camps were girding for fresh hostilities and urged targeted sanctions to save the east African nation from further violence.

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