- Feb 10, 2006
Kibaki dissolves Kenya parliament
Source: BBCKenya's President Mwai Kibaki has dissolved parliament to pave the way for general elections in December.
The Electoral Commission of Kenya will set the election date after the speaker formally declares the 210 seats vacant.
President Kibaki is seeking a second term but faces a stiff challenge from opposition leader Raila Odinga of the Orange Democratic Movement.
Recent opinion polls put Mr Odinga more than 10 points ahead with 43-52% compared to 31-38% for Mr Kibaki.
According to the constitution, elections must take place within 90 days of the dissolution of parliament, and a December election has been expected for some time.
Announcing the dissolution of parliament in a live broadcast to the nation, President Kibaki said the ninth parliament had been "impressive" but also "disappointing".
He said he regretted that parliament had failed to deliver a new constitution and advised the incoming one to make this a top priority.
President Kibaki, who was elected on a National Rainbow Coalition (Narc) party ticket, will be seeking re-election as the candidate of the new Party of National Unity (PNU) after irreconcilable differences shattered the coalition that brought him to power.
"The management of coalition politics has been a major challenge but this has provided many lessons to be applied by future governing parties as this system is here to stay" President Kibaki said.
Last week parliament passed a new law that will ensure that political parties are funded by the government and managed in a transparent and democratic manner.
President Kibaki, whose government has drawn sharp criticism for failing to curb widespread corruption, nevertheless defended its efforts.
"The ninth parliament passed the law that created the (Kenya) Anti-Corruption Commission and the Public Officers Ethics Act which was aimed at addressing corruption" President Kibaki said.
The president urged politicians to ensure that peace was maintained during the campaigning period and on polling day.
"It is through a fair and credible poll that the true verdict of the people will prevail." President Kibaki noted.