Kenya political rivals meet


Kenyan opposition politicians suspended their rival assembly, days after their leader said he would reconcile with President Uhuru Kenyatta and end post-election turmoil.

Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga met on Friday and promised to re-unite the country after 100 people were killed in clashes, mainly between opposition supporters and security forces.

The opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition welcomed the new spirit of co-operation – though it warned the suspension could be lifted if government did not address divisive issues including land.
“We have accepted. We acknowledge it is better to reason together than separately,” the NASA Peoples Assembly Organising Committee said, in the first sign rank-and file campaigners back the leaders’ surprise reconciliation.

The People’s Assembly was announced in the wake of presidential elections in August and a repeat vote in October, both won by Kenyatta and both dismissed by the opposition as fraudulent.

Organisers at the time said the People’s Assembly was not meant to be a parallel government, but other statements said citizens would be able to use it to “exercise their sovereignty” until what they called “proper elections” were held.

Several Kenyan counties set up local People’s Assemblies, meant to be part of a central, national body, which has yet to meet.

Before Friday, Kenyatta and Odinga defied calls from civil society, religious leaders and Western diplomats to hold talks to overcome deep divisions after the elections.