17 Feb 2010

Political split deepens in Kenya

10:53 am on 17 February 2010

A rift in Kenya's coalition government appears to be deepening with the prime minister's party saying it will boycott cabinet meetings until the dispute is resolved.

The row began on Sunday when the President Raila Odinga annulled the suspension of two ministers by Prime Minister Mwai Kibaki over corruption scandals. Mr Kibaki later reversed the decision.

A spokesman for Mr Odinga's party says the prime minister can no longer function properly in the government.

Mr Odinga and Mr Kibaki are from different ethnic groups.

The two rivals formed a coalition to end riots following the 2007 election when some 1300 people died and thousands of others were displaced.

The BBC reports that vital reforms, intended to prevent a repeat of the post-election violence, have not been put in place yet.

US ambassador Michael Ranneberger has called on both leaders to work together to tackle corruption.

On Monday, Mr Odinga called for former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to intervene in the dispute