Incumbent president Mwai Kibaki has convened newly-elected members of parliament for the opening of the new legislature on 15 January at 14.30 local time. On that occasion the speaker and deputy speaker will be elected and the new MPs sworn in. The main opposition party Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), whose leader Raila Odinga lost to Kibaki in the disputed 27 December presidential race amid allegations of rigging, holds a relative majority in parliament of 99 seats out of 210, 41 short of the two-thirds needed to pass a vote of no-confidence against the president.
Kibaki has also named 17 members of his new cabinet despite recommendations by US envoy for Africa Jendayi Frazer, made during recent mediation efforts in Nairobi, to wait until after the political impasse sparked by the controversial elections had been resolved. The line-up includes leader of the opposition party ODM-Kenya and defeated presidential candidate Kalonzo Musyoka, whose party won 15 seats in parliament, as deputy president and minister for home affairs. No-one from the main opposition party ODM has been appointed.
The news will almost certainly undermine ongoing efforts to find a negotiated solution to the crisis that has left at least 600 people dead across the country, paralysed the national economy and had a devastating knock-on effect across the region.
Ghanaian president and chairman of the African Union John Kufuor is due to arrive in Nairobi on 8 January to attempt to bring Kibaki and Odinga together for talks for the first time since the discredited election commission of Kenya announced Kibaki