Opposition leaders in Kenya say their MPs will sit on the government benches as parliament meets for the first time since the disputed elections.

Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement won a majority of seats but he himself lost the presidential vote, a defeat he blames on poll-rigging. Analysts predict a showdown between MPs after two weeks of unrest. An attempt at mediation by former UN chief Kofi Annan was rejected by the government before it began.

Mr Annan is due to begin his visit on Tuesday, and arrives in the wake of failed bids to negotiate by the head of the African Union, Ghanaian President John Kufuor, and US envoy Jendayi Frazer. The European Union has warned it may reduce aid to Kenya if the crisis is not resolved. According to official figures, 612 people have died in unrest since the announcement of the 27 December election results.

About 250,000 people also fled or were driven from their homes in a country once seen as a beacon of relative stability in East Africa. Mr Odinga’s ODM is planning three days of consecutive mass rallies around Kenya this week, beginning on Wednesday.

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