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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 December 2005, 13:51 GMT
Key allies back in Kenyan cabinet
Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki
The referendum result was seen as a protest vote against the president
Two key allies of Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki have been sworn in as ministers after initially refusing to return to his cabinet.

Last week, Ford-Kenya party leader Musikari Kombo and National Party of Kenya leader Charity Ngilu accused Mr Kibaki of behaving undemocratically.

The ruling coalition has been under pressure since Kenyans voted against a new draft constitution last month.

Mr Kibaki rejected calls for a snap election two years ahead of schedule.

Speaking during a swearing-in ceremony of 15 ministers and several deputy ministers in Nairobi, he said he had been given a five-year mandate to govern the country.

"People are wasting time saying that they want snap elections - We are not afraid of an election, elections will be called in two years' time, for now let's concentrate on development," he said.

Mr Kibaki, who dismissed his entire cabinet after the referendum, said the vote had not been a popularity contest, but an opportunity for Kenyans to declare their stand on the proposed constitution.


Mr Kibaki's new cabinet is made up mostly of old friends and colleagues who did not campaign against the draft referendum.

Mr Kibaki also created new ministerial posts to coax Ford-Kenya and the NPK back into the cabinet and shore up support for his government.

He rejected all the leading politicians who stood against him and backed the successful "no" campaign in the referendum - including Raila Odinga.

The draft constitution was rejected by about 57% of voters in the country's first referendum on 21 November.

The main point of contention in that vote was the role of the president himself.

His opponents, including several members of the old cabinet, had wanted the new draft constitution to include a new powerful prime ministerial post, but this was opposed by supporters of Mr Kibaki.

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