Kenya opposition supporters defy protest ban


In Odinga's western stronghold of Kisumu, thousands of protesters took to the street, blocking roads, setting heaps of tyres alight and engaging in running battles with police.

Area police commander Paul Kiarie said some stormed the police station armed with crude weapons during protests against the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC).

Police also used tear gas to break up small demonstrations in Kenya's three main cities, Kisumu, the capital and the port of Mombasa, which were held in defiance of a government ban on rallies in city centres.

The government on Thursday banned the protests, citing "imminent danger of breach of peace".

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.

The Supreme Court annulled that vote, citing irregularities, and called for a new one.

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.

Odinga said the only relevant law now was the Supreme Court decision of 2013 stating that if a presidential election were nullified, the election commission would hold a ballot in which the president-elect and the petitioner were the only candidates.

Opposition leaders have called for daily demonstrations.

The National Assembly and the Senate have already passed the Electoral Bills and all eyes are now on President Uhuru to assent to them into Law.

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.

But in an interview in London, Odinga told the AP he's willing to return if that changes. "We should start to see a recovery at the bourse", Satchu said.

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. No candidate aside from Odinga and Kenyatta received even 1 percent of the vote.

In a statement issued by Minister for Africa Rory Stewart on Friday, the United Kingdom government pointed out that the rushed amendments would bring unnecessary tension in the country. He has 14 days to sign them into law.

Many observers agreed the 2007 election was deeply flawed, and it triggered politically motivated tribal violence that left more than 1,100 dead.