News24

Kenya's new charter takes effect

2010-08-27 16:55

Nairobi - Tens of thousands of Kenyans, joined by several African leaders, have assembled in the Kenyan capital's main park to witness the signing into law of a new constitution.

A colonial-era constitution is being replaced on Friday with one that curtails the president's powers with an American-style system of checks and balances.

An overwhelming majority of Kenyan voters adopted it in a referendum held on August 4.

President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga back the new charter, a key component of a reform package.

The two pledged to implement the reform package after signing a power sharing deal to end violence that saw more than 1 000 people killed following the disputed December 2007 presidential polls.

A surprise guest is Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.