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Kenyan PM dismisses lawmakers' bid to leave ICC

media Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga Reuters/Noor Khamis

In an exclusive interview with RFI, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Thursday said that he and the government are opposed to leaving the International Criminal Court. This is despite a motion passed by lawmakers late Wednesday which urged Kenya to withdraw from the Rome Statute that established the ICC.

Odinga said the MPs were venting their anger and frustration at the naming of six high-profile Kenyans by ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo.

Three cabinet ministers, the cabinet secretary and a former police chief were among the six men named last week, accused of being masterminds of the post-election violence.

Interview: Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga 23/12/2010 - by Daniel Finnan Listen

The motion was passed during a late night session - with some MPs labellingthe ICC as "colonial" and "anti-African".

But Odinga told RFI that nobody should pay attention to the motion.

"It cannot help anybody because the process that has started cannot be stopped, even if the country were to decide to pull out of the ICC today," Odinga said.

"This is part of our constitution which requires a referendum to change ... A mere vote in parliament is just an expression of opinion and does not hold any legal weight."

An ICC trial may destabilise Kenya's fragile coalition, formed by President Mwai Kibaki and Odinga to end the violence that followed the disputed presidential polls of December 2007.

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