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Negotiators near deal to stop Kenya violence

  • Story Highlights
  • Political deal to break Kenya deadlock expected Friday, top negotiator says
  • Kofi Annan, who is mediating talks, sees "light at the end of the tunnel"
  • Parties were able to outline a joint proposal on the governance structure
  • 1,000 dead in violence since December 27 vote, which observers say was rigged
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NAIROBI, Kenya (CNN) -- Feuding Kenyan political parties are close to a deal that could help end recent post-election violence, according to mediators in the settlement talks.

"I'm beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel," Kofi Annan, former U.N. Secretary-General and chief mediator in the process, said Thursday.

The political parties -- who are trying to broker a power-sharing arrangement -- were able to outline a "joint proposal that had been largely agreed on the governance structure," according to a statement released to CNN.

Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula told CNN: "We have made tremendous progress and we have considerably narrowed our differences between the two parties. Reaching a conclusion is very close.

"A derailment of discussions is not an option available to both sides."

The political deal could help end a spate of violence that has occurred in the country since a disputed election in December. The death toll has reach about 1,000 lives and has left thousands displaced since the election.

Problems began after Kenya's presidential vote went for Mwai Kibaki of the Party of National Unity. Raila Odinga, the leader of the opposition Orange Democratic Movement, said the election was rigged and he and his supporters refused to recognize the election as valid.

Officials from both sides said the negotiations have centered around the creation of the post of prime minister.

Both sides have agreed in principle to create the post but not agreed on how much power a new prime minister will have. For a new prime minister post to be created, Kenya's constitution would have to be changed.

They have also agreed to set up an independent committee to investigate irregularities in the December 27 election and suggest reforms.

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A statement from Annan's office said negotiators would meet Friday to try to conclude their work.

The violence that followed the election has broken down along tribal lines. Members of Kibaki's Kikuyu tribe and the Luos, the tribe of Odinga, have been in the middle of the ethnic clashes. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

All About Raila OdingaMwai KibakiNairobiKenya

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