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Kenya Bans Street Protests Amid Election Row
13 October 2017, 11:37 | Devin Moran
Raila Odinga during live interview on Radio Jambo at his Karen home
The proposed changes to the electoral laws by the ruling party Jubilee has created a political rift among Kenyans ahead of the repeat polls. The results of of those elections were overturned by the Supreme Court, after a lawsuit by the main opponent to President Uhuru Kenyatta, based on fraudulent manipulation when posting the vote-count results on the Web.
Stewart issued the statement following a meeting with Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Monica Juma and opposition leader Raila Odinga at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. But longtime rival Odinga says his withdrawal legally forces election officials to begin the entire process from scratch - a move that leaves more time for his reform demands to be met. Three of them are gunshot injuries. A separate healthworker at the same hospital, speaking on condition of anonymity, said eight people had been admitted "with gunshot wounds". However, the crowd later dispersed peacefully after speeches from opposition leaders, helped along by the first heavy rainfall of the season. In Nairobi riot police were deployed ahead of expected protests.
The Supreme Court annulled that vote, citing irregularities, and called for a new one.
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".
The protests come as Kenya is mired in confusion over a presidential election that is due to take place in less than two weeks, on October 26.
Odinga told Reuters that he might consider returning to the Supreme Court for clarification on whether the October 26 poll was legal.
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".
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.
Meanwhile, analyst Murithi Mutiga said that the withdrawal means that Kenya is in "uncharted waters". Protest violence immediately after the August election left 37 people dead, mostly at the hands of police, according to a Kenyan rights group.
Many observers agreed the 2007 election was deeply flawed, and it triggered politically motivated tribal violence that left more than 1,100 dead.
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.
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