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13 October 2017, 11:37 | Opal Carroll
Political Violence Returns to Kenyan Capital Streets
Three other protesters had gunshot wounds in the confrontation in the Odinga stronghold of Siaya County, Bondo police chief Paul Kiarie said.
Hundreds of opposition supporters took to the streets of Kenya's main cities Friday in defiance of a government ban on protests as the country is gripped by uncertainty over its presidential election.
Several people were injured in protests in Kenya on Wednesday, a day after opposition leader Raila Odinga announced he would quit the presidential race, in a move that plunged the country into uncharted waters.
In Kisumu, a port city on Lake Victoria, transport was paralyzed as youth lit bonfires and barricaded roads using rocks and burning tyres amid heavy security presence. Election officials have been locked in crisis meetings since the decision, as debate raged over what Odinga's move could mean for a dramatic election saga that saw President Uhuru Kenyatta's August 8 victory annulled by the Supreme Court.
In the capital, Nairobi, police fired tear gas as opposition supporters tried to march to the central business district.
He supported protesters' right to demonstrate, he said, but has so far stopped short of calling people onto the streets himself.
However the IEBC appears to be pushing forward with plans for an October 26 vote, saying only that Odinga had yet to submit the required form to officially pull out of the race.
The election laws changes were ordered by the Supreme Court, which identified a lacuna it said needed to be filled, when it annulled the August 8 elections citing irregularities. "All indications are that the election scheduled for 26 October will be worse than the previous one", he said, announcing his withdrawal Tuesday.
Opposition leaders have called for daily demonstrations.
"If it goes ahead it is not an election, it is a selection", Odinga told Reuters in an interview during a visit to London.
Mr Odinga withdrew his participation in the re-run election because he said the electoral commission had refused to implement changes to correct the problems he blames for the bungled election.
In 2013, Kenyatta defeated Odinga in a hotly contested election.
The United Kingdom has expressed concerns over the withdrawal of opposition presidential candidate Raila Odinga and the rush by the ruling Jubilee party to introduce amendments on electoral laws.
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.
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