Page last updated at 08:42 GMT, Monday, 27 April 2009 09:42 UK

Odinga calls for new Kenya poll

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki
President Kibaki's supporters have accused Mr Odinga of causing trouble

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga has said fresh elections may be needed if the rift in the power-sharing government cannot be solved.

He is demanding that he be put in charge of government business in parliament, to replace Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka.

Mr Odinga and President Mwai Kibaki agreed to share power last year to end months of post-election violence.

But relations have soured and the two parties have held crisis talks.

Over the weekend, President Kibaki's Party of National Unity accused Mr Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement of "fomenting a coup".

The president's allies say he has the power to decide who should hold the crucial position of leading government business in the house.

The speaker of parliament is due to issue a ruling on Tuesday.

Dec 2007: Disputed elections spark ethnic violence
Feb 2008: Mediators broker power-sharing government pact
April: Unity cabinet naming delayed amid last-minute dispute
5 Jan 2009: Odinga holds crisis talks; says ODM being sidelined
13 Jan: Inquiry amid claims of agriculture ministry maize cartels
3 April: Cabinet meets on anniversary of political marriage
4 April: Kilanguni retreat collapses in disarray amid arguing
6 April: Odinga labels Kibaki's governing style "primitive"
15 April: Odinga tells Kibaki ODM will boycott cabinet meetings

In response, the prime minister told a meeting of his constituents in Nairobi's Kibera slum:

"We have been pushed around enough. We have reached this point and we cannot retreat. We shall stand firm. If others do not want this then let us go back and hold elections."

Mr Odinga has previously said he was being sidelined in the government.

Earlier this month, his party said it would boycott cabinet meetings, leading to inconclusive crisis talks.

Mr Odinga recently complained at a public rally that no red carpet or toilet were provided for him during an official visit.

The prime minister has also said that the vice-president should not be getting paid more than him.

Mr Musyoka used to be a senior ODM official but split to form his own party - ODM-Kenya - and is now seen as close to the president.

About 1,500 people were killed and 300,000 forced from their homes after Mr Odinga's supporters said he had been cheated of victory in the December 2007 presidential election.

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan managed to broker a power-sharing deal in February 2008, which ended the violence.

Print Sponsor


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific