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Last Updated: Friday, 9 December 2005, 13:16 GMT
Defiant Kibaki's cabinet sworn in
Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki during the swearing in ceremony
The referendum result was seen as a protest vote against the president
Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki's cabinet has been sworn in despite many nominees refusing to take up their posts.

Three prospective ministers and 13 deputies, including two key allies, refused to accept positions.

Mr Kibaki dismissed his entire team two weeks ago after he lost a referendum on a new constitution - a vote seen as a protest against him.

Those snubbing Mr Kibaki say he is failing to consult coalition partners and ignoring the people's wishes.

The swearing-in at State House was broadcast live on Kenyan television.

You are my chosen team and we must not cower or hesitate
President Mwai Kibaki

"In (naming) the cabinet, I was guided by the fact that the government must not only be broad-based and drawn from all corners of the country, but that it must also be cohesive and united enough to deliver on promises made to Kenyans," Mr Kibaki said.

The new cabinet Mr Kibaki announced on Wednesday evening was said to be made up mostly of old friends and colleagues.

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

Unravelling

The BBC's Karen Allen in Nairobi says Mr Kibaki is fighting to survive his country's biggest political crisis.

KEY REJECTIONS
Musikari Kombo: Local gov
Charity Ngilu: Health
Orwa Ojode: Environment
Total rejections: 16

"You are my chosen team and we must not cower or hesitate because we have the full mandate and confidence of the majority of Kenyans," Mr Kibaki said during the swearing in ceremony.

The rejection of ministerial posts is being widely seen here as a move by politicians to try and distance themselves from a sinking ship ahead of elections in two years time, our correspondent says.

An hour after the president read out the long list of ministers in an address on national television on Wednesay, almost a third of those named as ministers or assistant ninisters announced that they were refusing to accept their posts.

Many said they were not consulted by the president before the announcement.

They claim that he has excluded key players in his National Rainbow Coalition - turning his back on multiparty politics.

The president has been urged to heal the rift with his former coalition partners, as the calls grow louder for a snap election.

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

The main bone of contention in that vote centred on 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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