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Kenyan President Unveils New Cabinet after Weeks of Uncertainty

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki unveiled his new-look cabinet late Wednesday after two weeks of political uncertainty where he retained Moody Awori as vice president.

Former Water Minister Martha Karua was moved to Justice and Constitutional Affairs ministry while Raphael Tuju took up the ministry for foreign affairs.

In a national television address, the president dropped eight ministers in the previous cabinet mainly those who vigorously campaigned for the rejection of the draft constitution in the Nov.21 referendum.

Kibaki suffered a defeat on Nov. 21 when 57 percent of voters rejected a draft constitution he had championed that allowed him to keep executive powers.

In a speech delivered from State House, Kibaki said it was necessary to reorganize his government in order to make it more cohesive and better able to serve the people of Kenya.

Kibaki, whose administration has been dogged by disputes among parties within the coalition since he took office three years ago, and has been widely condemned for failing to fulfill his promises of reform, called on his new ministers to adhere strictly to the code of conduct.

"I expect the new ministers and assistant ministers to strictly adhere to a new Code of Conduct and a Management Accountability Framework intended to enhance collective responsibility, ethics, accountability and results in government. The government has to lead by example," he said.

"I am aware that even though a majority of voters rejected the proposed draft, the desire for a new constitution is still strong among Kenyans," said the Kenyan leader.

"My government is committed to the achievement of this objective and will facilitate dialogue and consultations to lay the foundation for a legal framework that will facilitate realization of a new constitution," he added.

While dismissing his cabinet on Nov. 23, the Kenyan leader said he wanted to reorganize and unite his cabinet, which has hardly met in the last three months and has been sharply split to pass reforms.

(Xinhua News Agency December 8, 2005)

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