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Thursday, 12 December, 2002, 11:41 GMT
Moi: No back seat driver
President Moi in Nairobi
Moi is putting his trust in a new generation
Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi has denied planning to rule Kenya from behind the scenes after he retires.

In the last major official function of his presidency, Kenya's Daniel arap Moi told a large independence day rally in Nairobi that he planned to use his time trying to end wars in Africa.

The whole world is watching us and if we fail this test, we will be seen as just another African failure

President Moi
"I should be so busy that no one need fear that I would attempt to rule through the next president," President Moi said.

Opinion polls suggest the opposition are favourites to triumph in the 27 December general elections, which will see President Moi step down after 24 years in power.

"I have had my time and will render support to our next president," President Moi said.

He also asked Kenyans to vote freely and in a peaceful atmosphere and accept the results the polls will deliver.

"The whole world is watching us and if we fail this test, we will be seen as just another African failure," President Moi said.

Change

Extra chairs were provided at the last moment to include leaders from Narc - the National Rainbow Coalition.

Opposition leaders have been seeking clarification of how the handover of power would be conducted when President Moi steps down on 5 January.

Narc candidate Mwai Kibaki
Narc candidate Mwai Kibaki is in hospital
But President Moi promised that the transfer of power to the next president would be done smoothly.

The Kanu party has ruled the country ever since the country gained independence 39 years ago.

Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Kenya's founding president, Jomo Kenyatta, was chosen as Kanu's candidate after being backed by Mr Moi. He has denied accusations he is Mr Moi's puppet.

Mwai Kibaki will stand for Narc, which was joined by many senior Kanu members, opposed to Mr Kenyatta.

Fears

But the 71 year old is currently in a London hospital after being injured in a car crash while campaigning in Kenya a week ago.

His running-mate Michael Wamalwa was taken ill with gout while visiting Mr Kibaki and joined him at the private Wellington Hospital.

Another senior Narc official, former vice president George Saitoti, was involved in a car accident on Wednesday when his car overturned several times. He was not reported to be badly hurt and is at the independence day celebrations.

On Wednesday, the chairman of the electoral commission Samuel Kivuitu reassured Kenyans after fears were expressed that the poll may be delayed because delays in printing the voting slips.

He said the problem had now been resolved, after printers in London had complained about the many changes after nominations for parliamentary and municipal candidates.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Andrew Harding
"Moi is seventy-eight-years old, but he looks remarkably sprightly"
Kenyans choose a new president

Key stories

Inauguration day

Moi steps down

Background

INTERACTIVE GUIDE

AUDIO VIDEO

TALKING POINT
See also:

13 Dec 02 | Media reports
05 Dec 02 | Africa
12 Nov 02 | Africa
25 Oct 02 | Africa
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