Kenya po­lice use tear­gas, at op­po­si­tion demo

Daily Nation Newspaper - - NEWS OF -

NAIROBI - Kenyan po­lice fired tear­gas and shots in the air yes­ter­day as hun­dreds of demon­stra­tors marched through the cap­i­tal Nairobi to protest against pro­posed le­gal changes that would make it harder for the Supreme Court to an­nul an elec­tion.

Reuters tele­vi­sion footage showed a sport util­ity ve­hi­cle plough­ing into some of the protesters, se­verely in­jur­ing three, but it was not im­me­di­ately clear who was re­spon­si­ble and the po­lice made no im­me­di­ate com­ment on the in­ci­dent.

Kenya is due on Oc­to­ber 26 to re­peat a pres­i­den­tial elec­tion after the Supreme Court nul­li­fied an Au­gust 8 vote due to pro­ce­dural ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties. Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta, who won the Au­gust elec­tion, will face op­po­si­tion leader Raila Odinga.

Un­cer­tainty over the com­ing elec­tion has cre­ated tur­moil in the East African na­tion, which is a re­gional trade hub and staunch Western ally.

As the demon­stra­tors marched to­ward the elec­tion board in Nairobi, a Reuters jour­nal­ist saw men in plain clothes near se­cu­rity forces fire shots in the air. Po­lice on horse­back set up block­ades to pre­vent protesters from ac­cess­ing some roads.

Po­lice also used tear­gas in the western city of Kisumu, Odinga’s strong­hold, to dis­perse protesters, though an­other demon­stra­tion in the coastal city of Mombasa passed peace­fully.

Odinga’s op­po­si­tion al­liance is threat­en­ing to boy­cott the Oc­to­ber vote un­less the elec­toral board changes some per­son­nel - a stance he de­clined yes­ter­day to clar­ify, in com­ments that sug­gested he was keep­ing his op­tions open for now.

“This is a demo­cratic so­ci­ety we live in. If I choose not to par­tic­i­pate in the pre-rigged elec­tion process, it is my demo­cratic right. No court can or­der me to do so,” Odinga said in com­ments broad­cast on Kenyan TV sta­tions, with­out elab­o­rat­ing fur­ther.-REUTERS

Pres­i­dent Paul Biya

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