Kenyan women to go on sex strike in political protest

Kenyan women to go on sex strike in political protestNairobi - A group of Kenyan women's organizations have called on the nation's wives and girlfriends to withdraw conjugal rights in an attempt to bring an end to political strife that some fear could ultimately lead to renewed ethnic violence.

The Women's Development Organisation says it will also approach the wives of Prime Minister Raila Odinga, 64, and President Mwai Kibaki, 78, to join the week-long sex strike.

"The women of this country will not ... allow its political leadership to lead it back onto a slippery journey to ... violence and absolute chaos," the group said in a statement Wednesday.

The coalition government was formed in early 2008, bringing an end to ethnic violence that saw over 1,500 killed and 300,000 displaced. The fighting broke out after Odinga's supporters claimed he had been cheated out of victory in the December 2007 presidential elections.

Despite promising to compromise and work together, Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and Kibaki's Party for National Unity have done little but bicker.

The latest spat is over who should lead government business in parliament. Odinga feels he is the man for the job, while Kibaki wants Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka.

House Speaker Kenneth Marende on Tuesday refused to rule on the fight, instead appointing himself to the job on an interim basis and calling on the two parties to sort out their differences.

The ODM has walked out of talks aimed at healing the rift and has said it will boycott cabinet meetings. The premier on Sunday warned that fresh elections may be the only way to end the crisis.

Analysts and diplomats are concerned that if the coalition collapses or new elections are called, the country will be plunged back into violence.

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