Kenya police shoot dead 2 opposition protesters

13 October, 2017, 23:38 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Mutahi Ngunyi warns Jubilee not to celebrate before understanding Raila's scheme

Election officials have been locked in crisis meetings since the decision, as debate raged over what Odinga's move could mean for a dramatic election saga that saw President Uhuru Kenyatta's August 8 victory annulled by the Supreme Court. Odinga is betting on a ruling by the Supreme Court after 2013 elections - in which he failed to have the result overturned - which sought to clarify what happens if an election is invalidated.

Odinga has argued that his withdrawal from the race forces the IEBC to cancel the election and begin the whole process from scratch - allowing more time for his reforms.

In western Kisumu, a stronghold of opposition leader Raila Odinga that has been a hotspot for demonstrations, protesters blocked key roads and set piles of tyres on fire.

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

Kenyatta said he has two weeks to consider the amendment to the country's electoral law, which was passed by Parliament on Wednesday amid strong criticism.

The proposed changes to the electoral laws by the ruling party Jubilee has created a political rift among Kenyans ahead of the repeat polls.

The election board has said the polls will go ahead anyway, pitting Kenyatta against six other candidates, none of whom polled more than 1 per cent in August.

Based on the Supreme Court's decision, Mr Kenyatta can not run alone on the ballot or be sworn in automatically, said Ndungu Wainaina, executive director of the International Centre for Policy and Conflict.

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. "We condemn the directive. on the limitation of our rights to demonstrate". Odinga demanded deep reforms that the election commission (IEBC) said were impossible to deliver in the constitutionally mandated period.

"We can not go on this way".

Odinga challenged the decision in the Supreme Court, which ruled that Kenyatta had won fairly.

The protests also kicked off the coastal city of Mombasa where opposition supporters peacefully marched in the streets before being dispersed by the police.

Hundreds of opposition supporters took to the streets of Kenya's main cities Friday in defiance of a government ban on protests as the country is gripped by uncertainty over its presidential election.

Security Minister Fred Matiangi on Thursday banned rallies in the centre of Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu, accusing opposition supporters of lawlessness after incidents in which property was destroyed, passers-by robbed or assaulted, and business disrupted.

"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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