Police teargas Kenyan vote protesters, crowds gather in cities

Reuters News
|
Posted: Oct 06, 2017 6:01 AM

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Police fired teargas at opposition activists in Kenya's capital as protests mounted in cities on Friday calling for the sacking of election board officials involved in August's canceled presidential vote.

Crowds gathered in Nairobi, the western opposition stronghold of Kisumu and the port of Mombasa for the second time this week.

Kenya’s Supreme Court voided the Aug. 8 election citing irregularities without finding any individual at the election board responsible.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, who won the vote only to have his victory annulled, has accused the Supreme Court of bringing the country close to “judicial chaos”. Opposition leader Raila Odinga and his supporters have turned their ire on the election board for its role in the canceled poll.

With three weeks to go until a scheduled re-run of the vote, politicians from both sides have traded insults and accusations, raising fears of further turmoil in the regional economic and transport hub.

The opposition is threatening to boycott the Oct. 26 re-run if election board officials are not removed and if parliament passes a proposed amendment to the election law that would prevent the Supreme Court from annulling the results again.

Earlier on Friday, the Nairobi county police commander said people would be allowed to protest, but anyone who tried to destroy property would "be dealt with firmly".

(Reporting by George Obulutsa; Writing by Maggie Fick; Editing by Alison Williams and Andrew Heavens)