Opposition demand electoral reforms in Kenya

Kenyata and Odinga

Hundreds of people protested across Kenya on Monday to push for electoral reforms ahead of a crucial Oct. 26 election rerun made necessary after previous results were annulled due to irregularities.

Demonstrations to demand the removal of top managers of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and a change of suppliers of polling materials and technology took place in the capital, Nairobi.

Other cities are coastal city Mombasa, western port city Kisumu and the western town of Vihiga.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga said during a news conference in Nairobi that a protester was shot and wounded, while several others were injured when a car ploughed into a crowd of demonstrators for unknown reasons.

Local broadcaster KTN showed police using tear gas to disperse protesters in Kisumu and beating journalists covering the demonstration.

Odinga, meanwhile, reiterated he would boycott the Oct. 26 rerun if his demands for electoral reform were not met.

“The IEBC has not positively responded to irreducible minimum reforms we are demonstrating for.

“It is my democratic right not to participate in a pre-rigged election,” Odinga told journalists.

The renewed protests came a week after U.S., EU and British ambassadors called on all Kenyan political parties to respect the IEBC’s independence, refrain from “inflammatory rhetoric” and reject violence.

Kenya’s Supreme Court nullified the result of the presidential vote after Odinga lodged a complaint, claiming that IEBC computers had been hacked to generate a victory for Uhuru Kenyatta.

Report says Kenyatta’s party is now trying to push through a bill with changes to the electoral laws that could prevent the Supreme Court from annulling future results.