Representatives of the party in power and the opposition assemble again today to continue hashing out some kind of agreement about how to handle the political turmoil following last December's elections. Details of the talks are not public. Increasingly, however, the parties and Annan seem to be suggesting that they are working out a framework for a coalition government.
How such a government would function, how long it would be in power, when the next elections would be held: all of these questions are still up in the air.
On the ground, however, there does seem to be some public support for the idea. The international community is pushing it. In Benin this weekend, George Bush said there must be power-sharing. Ban Ki-Moon and other world leaders have issued similar statements. To reinforce the United State's point, Bush is sending Condoleeza Rice, the U.S. Secretary of State, to Kenya today.
So, on this Monday morning, as talks resume and Kenyans get ready to receive yet another high-profile international visitor, I went to the heart of Nairobi to gather some opinions on coalitions and Condoleeza.
Peter - Unemployed
For us, we want peace and for our country, to get back where it was. We need a coalition government because people are suffering right now. If [the fighting is] going to continue, the common man is going to suffer. I think a coalition can work. As long as these leaders will be apart from their selfishness, it will work.
Rice, I think it is good for her to come to Kenya. We need such people to come and bring peace into our country.
Mary - Aspiring Journalist
I really don't think a coalition government is going to solve the problems in Kenyan right now, especially if it is supposed to be a coalition between Mwai Kibaki and Raila. I don't see it working. The two parties both believe that the seat should be theirs, the Presidency. When you have two people contesting over it strongly, as they are, I don't think it is going to work.
Either way, they are both selfish. Kibaki is not going to give Raila what he wants. Raila is not going to give Kibaki what he wants. If either side should take the Presidency, it's better for Kenya than a coalition. I really don't think it can work.
Condoleeza is just going to stamp what Bush's agenda is: that is a coalition government. At the end of the day, it stands with the Kenya people. What do they want? Are they going to go for Bush and Condoleeza's aspirations? I really don't think so. And I think it is an insult to the work that Kofi Annan has been doing here.
Vivian - Student
I think it will be a good idea so long as there is peace and everything resumes back to normal. When it comes to the coalition government, I wish both of them can agree on basic factors, not favoring either party.
My take on Condoleeza's visit in Kenya? I think it's a good thing, as long as it builds peace. She will come to support Annan.
David - Banker
[Whether a coaltion can work] remains to be seen. This is a fairly new concept as far as we are concerned. We have not had such a situation in the past, since independence.
About Rice, it shows the importance the American government is giving to the Kenyan crisis.
Maureen - Fashion Designer
We are ready for [a coalition]. In fact, that is what we want. If they agree, they should [work together]. Those who stole our votes should agree, we work together as a team. And then maybe after two years, we go for new elections.
I'm sure that at least we will get a solution by the arrival in Kenya of Condoleeza Rice.
Eunice - unemployed
A coalition might work but I am not so sure that it might happen. We are just waiting.
The visit will be important because it will help the government to know that we are being supported by a country like the United States.
James - Newspaper Vendor
It should not work. Because even per our constitution, it does not work. If one has won an election, he has won an election. If one has been thrown in an election, he has been thrown in an election. If we form a coalition, there will be none who will accept a defeat. They will always be wanting to share the power. Even our constitution does not allow that.
Rice should come and calm down the situation. But we have no calamity in Kenya. I don't see how she can be useful.
John - consultant
It's all a waste of time. If you rig elections, you have lost trust of everybody. The only way to recover that is to find a way that elections can be done. The person who wins fairly, leads the country.
Rice's visit might add value to what is going on.
Judith - Business Person
According to me, the coalition government is not bad. The opposition side is saying they won the election, and the government is also insisting that they won the election. You see the way the country is having a lot of problems. So we think if they do coalition government and they work together, people will be happy. They will see the way forward. I think people should work together.
I think Condoleeza's visit is useful. We, as Kenyans, can't make this thing alone. This stress we have found, we can't solve it alone. If there are some people who can come from outside, they can help us because they are seeing what we are not seeing. If they come in between, they will help the two. They will tell them what will make them convinced to make that peace.
Waweru - Taxi Driver
The coalition government won't make it. Raila is the one who brought multi-partyism. If you bring them into a coalition government, will there be any multi-partyism? There won't be. It would be better to remain with a single government. Then, if we elect ODM, then we shall have another government. We would rather wait. After the present President is over, Raila will take over.
Giving power to both presidents, they rule the country, that will come as if it is a single party system. We have the official opposition to be minding the current government. If there is any trouble, the opposition will raise oppositions. So at least the government will have a chance to be opposed. Then, after five years, we will give the opposition a chance to lead us.
Rice can help. Maybe she will talk to Raila and tell him to be patient. Five years is not a big deal.
Peter - Lawyer
The issue of a coalition government is still a problem. If you look back to the year of 2002, they had to sign a MOU [memorandum of understanding] for the purpose of forming something like a coalition government. There were several parties coming together for the purpose of forming that government. But they did not even honor that MOU, What makes you think it will last this time around if they come with a coalition government. How long can it stay? Can it last? The issue of a coalition government right now, it might not work.
People need to go back to elections. Let people elect a popular President. We need an interim government that will see to issues like the amendment of the constitution, disbanding of the electoral commission of Kenya. Once that is done, we can go for elections in the next two years. I think this animosity will have subsided within the next two years.
The coming of Condoleeza Rice is a good thing. People in Kenya, some of those ones who have taken power, are greedy people. They need some pressure from outside the country. Now they will see that the whole world is serious about the issues in Kenya. Now, if there are some issues in the negotiations, they can take them seriously.
People in Kenya are used to doing things with impunity. I do hope that the coming of Condoleeza Rice from the U.S. will show them that things are serious in the country. If they are going into negotiations, they do it knowing that everyone is watching.
Peter and James both bring up the tangled history of constitutional politics in Kenya. The current constitution dates back to independence. It concentrates power in the presidency and gives little room for opposition parties or members of parliament to impact policy.
Numerous attempts to ammend it have failed. Most notably, a 2005 draft constitution failed to get adequate support in a national referendum after the splintering of its supporters. But last week, staff from Annan's team said the government and the opposition had agreed to write a new constitution.
Some Kenyans says, perhaps the greatest silver lining of this post-election conflict will be the push to finally enact a constituion that will enable true Kenyan democracy
We'll explore some constitutional history is a post later this week. Stay tuned.