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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 March, 2004, 11:27 GMT
Kenya constitution row in court
President Mwai Kibaki (l) and Raila Odinga (r)
Kibaki (l) promised Raila (r) the prime minister's position
A draft of Kenya's controversial new constitution has been presented to the attorney general despite High Court orders halting the process.

A BBC correspondent in Nairobi says the chairman of the review commission, Prof Yash Pal Ghai, handed over the final draft to Amos Wako.

Three delegates had sought court orders to halt the process.

The constitutional conference was plunged into crisis last week after the government pulled out.

Opposition support

The cabinet is sharply divided over the adoption of the draft constitution which reduces the powers of the president and creates the post of a prime minister with executive power.

Kenyan media reports say President Mwai Kibaki held a crisis meeting aimed at defusing the political tension with leaders from political parties represented in parliament .

The next stage in the process is for the attorney general to present the draft to parliament for discussion.

However, Justice Philip Ransley issued orders to temporarily halt the process after three delegates at the conference filed a case seeking to quash adoption of sections of the report.

The delegates want the entire chapter of the draft relating to the Legislature, Executive, Devolution, Public Finance and Transitional Arrangements to be scrapped.

But Mr Wako said he had not received the orders halting the process.

The draft constitution will be debated in parliament within 30 days before it is enacted into law.

Dissident members of the ruling coalition, mainly from the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), back the creation of a prime minister's position and have an upper hand at the conference and in parliament.

They appear to have the support of the opposition.

Public Works Minister and LDP leader Raila Odinga is viewed as the most likely candidate for the new post of prime minister.

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Country profile: Kenya
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Timeline: Kenya
02 Jan 04  |  Country profiles

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