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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 August 2007, 13:14 GMT 14:14 UK
Moi throws weight behind Kibaki
Kibaki (right) and Moi (left)  (File photo)
Kibaki (right) was vice-president for 10 years under Moi (left)
Former Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi has backed his successor Mwai Kibaki's bid for a second presidential term in elections later this year.

The former leader said he had been observing the country's politics and was convinced that President Kibaki was the best candidate to unite Kenya.

Mr Moi stood down after 2002 elections, in which his Kanu party was defeated by a coalition led by Mr Kibaki.

The endorsement is a major boost for the incumbent's re-election bid.

The former leader, who ruled Kenya for 24 years, still wields great political influence.

Mr Moi said he was disappointed that "tribalism and selfish individual interests have been entrenched in our society".

"After very careful assessment, informed by my political experience spanning half a century, I am convinced that Mwai Kibaki ought to be given the chance to complete the constitutionally accepted two-term tenure," Mr Moi said during a news conference.

Unity hope

"You have seen President Kibaki's development agenda that he has shown. He is not tribalist, he is development-minded and he is for the unity of the people of this country," he said, adding that he would be campaigning for President Kibaki in the run up to the December elections.

Former Kenyan cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott
The move will be a blow for ex-Moi aide Nicholas Biwott

Mr Moi also lashed out at the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), saying it was a divisive party.

"Above all, all of them are driven by hate. I don't want Kenya to end in chaos," said the self-styled professor of politics.

Politicians allied to the ODM accused the former president of trying to scuttle the opposition movement.

In July, Mr Kibaki appointed Mr Moi as a special peace envoy to Sudan to help facilitate a peace deal in southern Sudan where Kenya has strong economic interests.

Political analysts have seen the thawing of relations between Mr Moi and the incumbent president in recent months as a sign that they may have been planning a loose coalition.

Kenya has enjoyed growing economic strength under President Kibaki, but this has been marred by endemic corruption which has continued to thrive despite the government's pledges to end it.

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