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Two-month term for new vice-president

Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi has named a new vice-president, even though upcoming general elections mean he could never attend parliament in that capacity.

On Monday, Transport and Communications Minister Musalia Mudavadi was named as the fourth vice-president under Moi, and Kenya's seventh since independence, local media reported.

However, general elections are due to take place in Kenya on 27 December, meaning Mudavadi will serve as vice-president for less than two months under this parliamentary term. The Kenyan parliament was dissolved by Moi on 25 October in anticipation of the polls, which will mark the end of Moi's 24-year rule.

"I will continue to serve my president as vice-president and party, KANU [Kenya African National Union] and at the same time work towards a better Kenya alongside other leaders," Mudavadi was quoted as saying by the 'Daily Nation' newspaper.

Some observers say the appointment of Mudavadi is an attempt by Moi to generate support for KANU's presidential nominee Uhuru Kenyatta in western Kenya, an area where opposition to KANU is traditionally strong.

Mudavadi replaces long-serving George Saitoti, who was sacked in August after opposing Uhuru Kenyatta, son of Kenya first post-independence leader Jomo Kenyatta, as Moi's chosen successor.

The main challenge to Kenyatta comes from veteran politician Mwai Kibaki, named as the presidential candidate for the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC), an alliance of opposition parties which includes some high-profile defectors from KANU.

Meanwhile, Simeon Nyachae, a former civil servant, MP and cabinet minister, on Monday announced he would be running for president under the banner of the Ford-People party, after splitting with NARC. Nyachae originates form Kisii in western Kenya, and commands significant support in the area.

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This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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