Protests banned in Kenya after opposition leader pulls out of presidential election


On Thursday, the government banned demonstrations in the central business districts of the capital Nairobi, the coastal city of Mombasa and the western city of Kisumu.

A supporter of Kenyan opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition, lies on the ground after a police truck hit his motorbike during a protest along a street in Nairobi, October 11, 2017.

Transport was paralyzed in the lakeside city of Kisumu as youth lit bonfires and barricaded roads using rocks and burning tyres amid heavy security presence.

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In Nairobi, opposition leaders tried to stage a march but when police fired teargas, the protesters dispersed. "We condemn the directive. on the limitation of our rights to demonstrate". 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. It is set for October 26. His opposition alliance called for demonstrations demanding a new election with a new election board instead.

On Tuesday, October 10, Raila and his deputy Kalonzo Musyoka announced that they will not take part in the repeat election slated for October 26. Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta was originally declared the victor.

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

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But Mr Odinga's withdrawal has left behind widespread confusion in East Africa's largest economy, with observers wondering how the new election might go forward.

Area police commander Paul Kiarie said some stormed the police station armed with crude weapons during protests against the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC).

Odinga said the only relevant law now was the Supreme Court decision of 2013 stating that if a presidential election were nullified, the election commission would hold a ballot in which the president-elect and the petitioner were the only candidates. On Friday, Kenyatta received the Parliament-approved amendments.

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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. However the country still has grim memories of the perils of post-election violence, with a disputed 2007 poll sparking politically-motivated tribal clashes that left some 1,100 dead.