African Press International (API)

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Raila Odinga’s ambitious plan to become president put to an end by Kofi Annan as ODM bows down

Posted by African Press International on February 9, 2008

No re-run on the presidential elections, says the dialogueging man, the GhanaianKofi Annan in Nairobi.

kibaki-and-annan.jpg<Annan (left on the photo)and Kibaki strolling on the road to peace.

Annan’s decision to come out boldly in support of peace and reconciliation strengthens President Kibaki’s government.

Annan hoped Raila and his ODM will now get the message loud and clear. He was right. They got the message and now has bowed down dropping all their major demands. This is a way of showing maturity by a man with a great deal of experience from the United Nations. He decided to let the cat out of the bag, instead ofgiving time to ODM pentagonists to continue dreaming of taking over power within a few months.

TIRED AND DISAPPOINTED LEADERSABSORB THE REALITY OF THINGS

raila-crying.jpgwilliam-ruto.jpgThings have now come out in the open. There is no way this time for Raila Odinga (<left photo) becoming Kenya’s president and William Ruto (right photo>) becoming prime minister (a position promised to him by Raila if Ruto supported the Luo community to take over the top seat). Raila now says he is ready to forget the presidential seat, the demand to have a transitional government and his claim that President Kibaki should resign giving way for a re-run.

It was not immediately clear whether Raila’s change of heart to drop the demands is due to Kofi Annan’s direct message that there will be no presidential elections in the near future, a thing ODM and Raila was hoping to get from the lead negotiator.

Calling for mass demonstrations by the ODM and Raila this time around, will damage their image totally. The courts will not allow any case challenging the presidency now that 28 days required to file a petition has passed. Things has now become tough for the opposition and they should understand that this time around, things has gone in favour of Kibaki and his government. ODM should do as ODM-Kenya if they have to get anywhere in their gesturefor power.

HARDLINERS AND THEIR AMBITIONS

This is good news for peace-uilding in Kenya. What next for Ruto and pentagonists now? The problem will arise when ODM hardliners like William Ruto (Rift Valley), Najib Balala (Coast) and Musalia Mudavadi (Western), the men who were promised highest positions by Raila should he become Kenya’s president, realise that they have only been used to get votes in their provinces without fulfilling their ownambitions to lead Kenya one way or another.

Kofi Annan decided to take the bull by the horns instead of sweet-talking teh parties, when he knows that the government and President Mwai Emilio Kibaki will not surrender to ODM’s pressure.

RIGGING WILL ALWAYS BE THERE

The Kenya politics of today is not different from that of Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel Moi. That is not to say Kenyatta’s, Moi’s and now Kibaki’s politics is faulty. It is a matter of style and timing. Election rigging will always be there one way or another, in small or big scale, as long asleaders are power hungry

For those who understand the game of politics, there is nothing to fight for by the ODM now. They can, however, do the fighting in parliament because they have the majority of the MPs. If they, the ODM have the people who elected them at heart, they will not block decisions that favour the government and the peoplesimply to show their voting might in the house. They have been elected to parliament. That is giving them opportunity to guide the people and that does not mean they are ireplacable should they just think of their own wellbeing.

kibaki-sworn-in.jpg<President Mwai Emilio Kibaki being sworn in for the second term in office.

Kibaki was sworn in the day the results were announced. Many are saying that was a hasty move. That was the best thing for the country,they thought, and that is why the swearing in was done quickly. And nothing is now proving them wrong.

The clashes that followed the announcement of the winner and the swearing in shows that the swearing in was right because no one wanted to have a vacuum where the country had no leader.

Those who are power hungry from whichever party could easily have engineered some kind of coup in the night and taken over the country. Kenyans would wake up to a big mess and chaos that would have seen many lives lost. Kenyans should look back and analyse what has happened the last weeks, people dying, people being hacked to death, people getting burnt and all in name of leaders fighting for power. Can they imagine what a power vacuum would have done to the country?

NEGOTIATIONS TAKES A NEW TURN

The fact that the negotiations has taken a new turn after Annan told the world not to expect a presidential re-run, there are thosein the west who would have liked to see Raila succeed and yet observers do not think the west is really interested in him, but to put him in power and use him to establish businesses in Kenya, businesses that will benefit their people in the west.

It is sad that western leaders are looking at things this way. Many are forgetting that many Kenyans have lost their lives because of the games the leaders enjoy to play.

Unity is now very important for Kenya and the Kenyan people. PNU, Kibaki’s party should now do the best to ensure that the president is given all the dsupport he needs so that he rules the country without further bloodshed.

By Korir, Chief Editor, API africanpress@getmail.no+47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525

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