Kenyan president holds talks with opposition leader

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The two men have defied calls from Kenyan civil society and religious leaders and Western diplomats to hold talks to overcome deep divisions opened up by the disputed elections. Image courtesy: CitizenTV

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga held their first public meeting since last year’s contested election on Friday.

The meeting took place at Harambee house in the capital Nairobi and was followed by a press conference where they both highlighted the importance of finding solutions to the current political crisis.

“We look forward to the support of every single leader,” said President Kenyatta following Friday’s meeting. “For me, this marks a new beginning for our country.”

Kenyatta was sworn in for a second term in November after an extended election season which saw the Supreme Court nullify an August presidential poll and order a re-run in October. Odinga boycotted the second poll claiming there was no prospect of a credible election.

In January, Odinga took a symbolic presidential oath in a Nairobi park in a direct challenge to Kenyatta.

Months of acrimonious campaigning and sporadic clashes between government and opposition supporters blunted growth in Kenya, East Africa’s richest economy and a Western ally in a volatile region.

The two men have defied calls from Kenyan civil society and religious leaders and Western diplomats to hold talks to overcome deep divisions opened up by the disputed elections.

 

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