Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Kenyan police use teargas to disperse opposition protesters

Kenyan police use teargas to disperse opposition protesters

A repeat presidential election pitting is scheduled for October 26 after the Supreme Court nullified the result of an August poll in which incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta beat veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga, citing irregularities. A regional and trade gateway, Kenya is East Africa's richest economy and an important Western ally in the fight against militant Islamists in the region.

Mr Kenyatta soon after announced the election would go ahead, telling supporters that "there is nowhere the constitution says Raila Amollo Odinga has to be on the ballot", and the election commission said on Twitter that it would meet with its legal team and "communicate way forward". "This must be done right in the interest of electoral democracy in our country". "As far as we are concerned, that (original Supreme Court) ruling is still valid", he said during a visit to London. No candidate aside from Odinga and Kenyatta received even 1 percent of the vote. That judgement stated that if a candidate dies or withdraws from the fresh election, the IEBC must begin presidential nominations from scratch.

They said they can not be part of an election that is likely to be worse than the one annulled by the Supreme Court on September 1, 2017.

"We can not go on this way".

If the government and electoral commission are "ready to do business and deal, we are ready to jump in the field", he said.

Earlier, Mr Odinga told supporters that Kenya's election commission had "stonewalled meaningful deliberations" on reforms to ensure a credible vote. Odinga challenged the decision in the Supreme Court, which ruled that Kenyatta had won fairly.

Kenyan police used teargas on Friday to disperse protesters in the country's three main cities, Reuters witnesses said, as a standoff between the government and opposition leaders over a planned repeat presidential election continued.

Supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga have been holding regular demonstrations in Mombasa, Kisumu, and the capital Nairobi to push for election reforms before the October 26 re-run of Kenya's presidential election.

In a statement, Kenya's Interior Minister said the ban on protests was put in place Thursday because the demonstrations present a "clear, present, and imminent danger". Since then a series of demonstrations have seen police teargas protesters, who in some cases have grown violent, with no deaths recorded.

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