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Last Updated: Monday, 29 August 2005, 09:41 GMT 10:41 UK
Kenya constitution rift deepens
Former president of Kenya Daniel arap Moi
Mr Moi says the new laws will create "animosity, suspicion and mistrust"
Kenya's former president, Daniel arap Moi, has rejected a draft new constitution, saying it would cause animosity and mistrust among Kenyans.

The proposals, to be voted on in a referendum in November, are dividing the political establishment.

Five cabinet ministers have broken rank with President Mwai Kibaki, calling for a 'No' vote in the referendum.

Violent protests took place in July over the alleged failure of the new document to limit presidential powers.

The review process started towards the end of Mr Moi's 24-year tenure, but President Kibaki swept to power in 2002 promising a new constitution within 100 days.

If Kenyans agree to it in the referendum, the government hopes to enact the constitution by 12 December, which will be almost three years since Mr Kibaki took office.

Warning

President Kibaki, who is launching his campaign for a 'Yes' vote in the referendum on Monday, has warned voters against what he described as propagandists, who intended to mislead them.

THE TWO DRAFTS
Previous draft envisaged:
Executive prime minister sharing power with the president
Four-level devolution: national, provincial, district and rural
Two chambers of parliament
Latest draft entails:
Executive president and non-executive prime minister
Two-level devolution: national and provincial
Only one chamber: the national assembly

He urged people to read the draft constitution ahead of the referendum

The government says it will provide up to three million free copies to allow people to form their own opinion on the issue.

If approved in the referendum, the 197-page document will be the first major overhaul of the country's constitution since Kenya's 1963 independence from Britain.

Critics of the draft say it fails to establish a strong prime minister's post, which they say would prevent the president abusing his powers.

Instead, the premier is appointed and can be dismissed by the president.

During the 2002 election campaign which brought him to power, Mr Kibaki promised to introduce a new constitution, including the post of prime minister, within 100 days of coming to power.

The current proposal is a combination of a draft by a National Constitutional Conference in March 2004 and the one proposed by parliament in July.

The referendum, which should take place within 90 days, is being challenged in court over alleged irregularities.



SEE ALSO:
Kenyan MPs approve constitution
22 Jul 05 |  Africa
Kenyan police battle protesters
20 Jul 05 |  Africa


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