Kenya opposition supporters defy protest ban

Kenya opposition supporters defy protest ban

Kenya opposition supporters defy protest ban

"This ban, announced just two weeks ahead of a fraught repeat presidential election, is likely to become a basis for heavy-handed police crackdowns", said Michelle Kagari, a deputy regional director with Amnesty International.

Kenya's supreme court nullified the presidential election in August, citing procedural irregularities and voiding the victory of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

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.

Odinga's withdrawal this week has thrown the country into political turmoil. "Up to now we have received about 23 (injured)". A separate healthworker at the same hospital, speaking on condition of anonymity, said eight people had been admitted "with gunshot wounds".

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"We are prepared to deal with them", one of the anti-riot police officers told Xinhua in Nairobi.

The Mombasa demonstrations were largely peaceful and were led by grassroots leaders to push for reforms required to enhance fairness and transparency in the electoral process. The decision was hailed across the globe and held up as an opportunity to deepen Kenyan democracy, however the process quickly turned sour, with increasingly ugly rhetoric including attacks by Kenyatta on the judiciary.

In response, the commission tweeted a letter it sent on Tuesday to Mr Odinga's opposition coalition saying "we have taken the necessary steps to guarantee the integrity of the fresh presidential elections". Odinga is betting on a ruling by the Supreme Court after 2013 elections - in which he failed to have the result overturned - which sought to clarify what happens if an election is invalidated.

Based on the Supreme Court's decision, Mr Kenyatta can not run alone on the ballot or be sworn in automatically, said Ndungu Wainaina, executive director of the International Centre for Policy and Conflict.

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He said: "that law also goes on to say that if one of the candidates dies or pulls out, the election commission is obligated to carry out fresh nominations".

Three people have been shot dead in Bondo town and several others injured as police clashed with protesters in Nasa's anti-IEBC protests. Since then a series of demonstrations have seen police teargas protesters, who in some cases have grown violent, with no deaths recorded. Kenya adopted an electronic system following the flawed 2007 election which sparked ethnic violence that left more than 1,000 people dead.

Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga said on Friday that his withdrawal from a presidential election rerun scheduled for October 26 meant the poll had been "canceled" and there should be fresh nominations for a new vote.

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