Several hurt in protests as Kenya election officials mull next move

14 October, 2017, 00:25 | Author: Lula Armstrong
  • Raila Jubilee Using

Kenya's Supreme Court last month annulled the August election citing widespread irregularities in the counting process and mismanagement by election officials, and called for a re-run within 60 days.

Odinga, who successfully challenged the August 8 re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta last month, said the repeat poll should be canceled and a fresh election held after the election board has carried out reforms. Odinga's decision is likely to set the stage for more court battles, while deepening a political crisis that has also led to an economic slowdown.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga pulled out of the 26 October poll earlier this week.

But in an interview in London, Odinga told the AP he's willing to return if that changes.

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"We will continue with our demonstrations as planned across the country", said one of the coalition's leaders Moses Wetangula. The outbreak of the street riots followed the publication of the decision by a Kenyan high court, according to which another candidate can be included in the list of presidential aspirants in the elections scheduled for October 26.

Opposition legislator James Orengo said the law will lower safeguards against vote-rigging by making the preferred system of transmitting election results a manual one.

Bondo lawmaker Gideon Ochanda condemned the killings, saying the police should exercise restraint as they disperse the demonstrators. Odinga demanded deep reforms that the election commission (IEBC) said were impossible to deliver in the constitutionally mandated period.

"If need be we will go for clarification". No candidate aside from Odinga and Kenyatta received even 1 percent of the vote.

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The standoff over the elections has sparked demonstrations, but the numbers of protesters has tended to be in the hundreds rather than the thousands.

Opposition supporters have been holding regular protests in the three cities, which have resulted in looting and violent clashes with police.

The demonstrations defied a new government ban on opposition protests in the central business districts of Kenya's three largest cities, while concerns rose again about election-related violence in East Africa's largest economy.

Matiang'i said he had banned the demos from the city centers to protect Kenyans and their property, but opposition leaders vowed not to budge, saying demonstrating and picketing is their constitutional right.

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"The government sending the police to stop the people by throwing teargas and using live bullets, they are basically violating the fundamental rights of the people ..."

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