What Happens When Kofi Goes Home?
So we have a deal to end Kenya’s bloodshed. Great. And it waters down the power of the president, which is an important step to ending Kenya’s winner-takes-all politics of tribalism.
But why was Raila Odinga, the opposition leader soon to be installed in the new post of Prime Minister, looking hatchet faced throughout the signing ceremony at Harambee House? Could it be that he was thinking back to 2002 when he handed Kibaki, then a presidential contender, the support of his Luo tribe in exchange for the post of Prime Minister? Once elected President Kibaki went back on his promise of a new constitution – and with it a PM – and Odinga walked out of his government.
For now most Kenyans are content to celebrate the deal and hope it means peace. But I trust Kofi Annan has put in place some pretty rigorous monitoring arrangements to ensure that a president accused of rigging an election and of reneging once on a similar deal, is prepared to keep his word this time.