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Kibaki: Will Talk With Rivals When Kenya Is Calm

  • VOA News

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki says he will talk with political rivals when the deadly post-election violence gripping Kenya has ended.

In a statement to reporters on Thursday, Mr. Kibaki said he is ready to have dialogue with what he called "concerned parties" once the nation is calm and people are ready for "constructive and productive engagement."

He also appealed for peace and said anyone who breaks the law will be punished.

Mr. Kibaki spoke a few hours after the opposition Orange Democratic Movement cancelled a rally intended to protest what it calls the rigging of last week's presidential election to ensure a Kibaki victory.

Kenyan police fired tear gas, water cannon and warning shots to prevent thousands of ODM supporters from reaching the rally site in Nairobi today. The ODM now says the protest will take place Friday.

This week's violence has displaced around 100-thousand Kenyans and left more than 300 others dead.

Today, Kenya's attorney general Amos Wako called for an independent body to review and confirm the presidential election results. However, Wako said only a court could nullify President Kibaki's victory.

European Union election observers have questioned the credibility of the results, as have several members of Kenya's electoral commission.

Early returns from the December 27th presidential vote showed Mr. Odinga in the lead. Violence broke out after voting tallies were delayed in key districts, and election authorities declared Mr. Kibaki the winner.

Much of the fighting has been between Mr. Odinga's Luo tribe and the president's Kikuyu tribe. Both sides have accused the other of committing acts of genocide.

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