The Oslo Center in talks with Kenya’s Prime Minister
The Oslo Center met with Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga in New York last week to discuss the challenges in Kenya’s coalition government. The coalition was formed after the elections and the violent riots in 2007 and 2008. “The Coalition is exposed to great strains. It is very important for the stability in Kenya that it does not break down”, says special advisor Øistein Mjærum.
The Oslo Center has visited Kenya several times over the last two years in order to share experiences on developing and leading coalition governments, and to provide advice to political parties and national politicians.
“Although the cooperation between the president and the prime minister has improved, the Kenyan coalition government still faces major challenges”, says Øistein Mjærum who participated in the meeting with Kjell Magne Bondevik.
“Kenya has still not succeeded in putting together a tribunal to convict those responsible for the violence that followed the election in 2007, and which resulted in 1500 deaths. At the same time there have been serious allegations of inefficiency and corruption, also in connection with the food crisis now affecting the country”, says Mjærum.
According to Oxfam, 23 million people are currently affected by acute shortages of food and water as a result of the drought that affects Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda.
The Oslo Center’s democracy project in Kenya is cooperating with the National Democratic Institute (NDI).