Kenyan Parliament passes part one of crisis deal

Kenya’s Parliament on Tuesday unanimously passed the first of two laws required to enact a power-sharing deal designed to end the country’s bloody post-election crisis.

In a 200-0 vote, the legislature approved the constitutional amendment making positions in the Cabinet for a prime minister and two deputies.

Parliament must next debate and pass a law that will create those posts in a new unity government agreed as part of a deal at peace talks last month to end a crisis in which at least 1 000 people were killed.

The next part of the deal could also be passed on Tuesday. Legislators have been expected to pass the changes needed after shows of support from both camps.

Under the accord signed by President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga, the premier’s job will go to the leader of the party with the most seats in Parliament — in this case, Odinga.

Investors in Kenya’s economy — knocked hard by the crisis but still seen as being among Africa’s most promising — are keenly watching whether the deal will go through smoothly.

Violence erupted after Odinga accused Kibaki of stealing the December 27 election. — Reuters

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