Kenyan police fire tear gas at opposition protesters

Police in several cities clash with demonstrators calling for electoral commissioners to be sacked before rerun vote.

    Kenyan police fire tear gas at opposition protesters
    Opposition leader Raila Odinga called on his supporters to take to streets until their demands are met [Thomas Mukoya/Reuters]

    Before a rerun presidential election, supporters of Kenya's opposition have called for electoral officials to be sacked and demanded the ruling party is blocked from changing voting laws.

    In the opposition strongholds of Kisumu and Siaya, police on Monday fired tear gas at protesters who jammed roads and burned tyres.

    Security forces hurled fired tear gas canisters at demonstrators in the capital, Nairobi.

    The nationwide demonstrations were called by Raila Odinga, the opposition leader, on Thursday.

    He has promised that protests will take place twice a week until the demonstrators' demands are met.

    "We have no other option but to take the battle to the people," Odinga said at a press conference on Thursday, as he called his supporters to turn out in force.

    "I call upon on this generation to resist. They must arise and resist an attempt to try and take them back to the eras of single-party dictatorship. We are calling our people to action," Odinga said.

    On the same day, the ruling Jubilee party - which has a majority in parliament - presented their proposal before the legislature to prevent the country's Supreme Court from annulling the results of the rerun presidential election, scheduled for October 26.

    The Supreme Court annulled President Uhuru Kenyatta's election on September 1, citing illegalities and irregularities in the way results were transmitted.

    Opposition leaders accused the electoral commission of manipulating the results.

    Kenya's chief prosecutor on September 24 ordered the country's anti-corruption commission and the criminal investigation department to investigate several electoral commissioners over possible offences committed during the August 8 general election.

    The opposition has threatened to boycott the polls if their demands are not met. But President Kenyatta said election re-run will not be delayed.

    "There is no way that the government will allow any person to block any voter from exercising their right to choose the leader or leaders of their choice," Kenyatta said on Friday.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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