Kenya bans protests as election rerun approaches

Monday, 16 Oct, 2017

Opposition coalition chief executive officer Norman Magaya said that police have allowed government supporters into the banned protest areas and that they were attacking opposition supporters.

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.

During protests in Nairobi and Kisumu on Wednesday, two people were shot by police. 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.

Police allegedly killed three protesters on Friday during anti-government demonstrations that turned violent in the East African country, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

The government on Thursday banned the protests because of "imminent danger of breach of peace". Local television showed running battles with stone-throwing youth in Kisumu, Kenya's third-largest city. Police also used tear gas in Mombasa, said opposition legislator Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir.

Earlier this week, opposition leader Raila Odinga pulled out of a presidential rerun election set for October 26.

Truck Bomb Kills at Least 20 in Somalia's Capital
A BBC Somali reporter at the scene said the Safari Hotel had collapsed, with people thought to be trapped under the rubble. The explosion appeared to target a hotel on a busy road in the Hodan district and at least 15 people were injured, Capt.

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

The opposition leader said he could return to the Supreme Court to seek a clarification, but if the IEBC went ahead with the October 26 election it would be "in breach of the law".

Kenyatta's Jubilee Party has pursued changes to the electoral law that the opposition says will make it more hard for the Supreme Court to nullify a presidential election and will reduce safeguards against electoral fraud.

"What we are demanding is that the electoral commission should respect the Supreme Court and carry out elections in accordance with the ruling".

Bondo lawmaker Gideon Ochanda condemned the killings, saying the police should exercise restraint as they disperse the demonstrators.

The State Department is urging Kenya's security forces not to use "unnecessary force" after police said they shot and killed two opposition protesters amid demonstrations for election reforms.