On Wednesday, police in Kenya used teargas to disperse thousands of opposition supporters in Nairobi and the western town of Kisumu who took to the streets to demand electoral reforms. This comes a day after opposition leader Raila Odinga announced that he was withdrawing from fresh presidential elections due later this month. Odinga withdrew from the race citing concerns that the polls would not be free and fair.
Meanwhile, the high court added a twist to the upcoming fresh presidential elections when it ruled that Ekuru Aukot, one of the eight presidential candidates who ran in the August Presidential polls, should be included in the October race. The electoral commission had indicated that only incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga would run in the repeat polls.
“Whether you are there or not we are proceeding to the people who have the sovereign right to elect the leader of their choice, “said Kenyetta.
The political crisis heightened further when parliament passed controversial amendments to electoral laws – which among other things indicate that if one candidate withdraws from the race, the remaining candidate will be sworn in without the country going to an election.
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– By Sarah Kimani