25, October 2017
Kenyan police have clashed with protesters in the capital Nairobi as calls increase on the country’s Supreme Court to delay a controversial rerun of presidential election, which is slated for October 26.
Police officials said on Tuesday that they fired tear gas to disperse a small group of people who were protesting in downtown Nairobi.
The officials said the confrontation, which occurred amid bustling traffic, was not serious and that police officers fired blanks. However, clouds of tear gas forced some city workers and passers-by to hurry away from the area.
There was no report of potential casualties. Rights group say some 67 people have been shot dead by police forces since the results of the August 8 presidential election were declared. President Uhuru Kenyatta won that vote but Kenya’s Supreme Court annulled the results over irregularities in the electronic vote process. Opposition candidate Raila Odinga, who had challenged the original vote, has called on his followers to boycott a rerun set for Thursday, saying irregularities still persist and people who helped the government tamper with the results have not been sacked from the election watchdog.
Authorities in the Supreme Court said on Tuesday that they would hear a petition by the opposition and rights groups to postpone the October 26 rerun. The court said it would convene a meeting on Wednesday morning to hear petitioners.
Petitioners say a large number of voters would not be able to vote in the rerun as Odinga has called on them not to turn out. They also cite comments by senior election officials who have expressed doubts that the Thursday vote could be free and fair.