October 13 2017 – KENYA’s government, yesterday, Thursday banned demonstrations in three key cities, as tension was building ahead of a disputed rerun of the presidential election.
Protests were banned in the capital city of Nairobi, coastal port city Mombasa and the western city of Kisumu, Interior Minister Fred Matiang’i said in a statement.
The ban comes a day after Kenya’s electoral commission in a surprising decision allowed all eight presidential candidates that participated in the annulled August 8 elections to stand in the October 26 rerun.
Initially, the rerun was supposed to be a two-man race between incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, leader of the largest opposition party National Super Alliance coalition (NASA), who received 54 per cent and 44.7 per cent respectively during the August 8 polls.
The rerun was announced after the Supreme Court nullified the result of the August 8 election after Odinga lodged a complaint, claiming that the computers of the electoral commission had been hacked to generate a victory for Kenyatta.
It remained unclear on Thursday if Odinga, who announced his intention to boycott the polls, will stand by his withdrawal threat.
Odinga said he will not compete in the rerun because his demands for electoral reform – the removal of top managers of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and a change of suppliers of polling materials and technology – were not met. But he is yet to
submit official withdrawal documents to the authorities. –dpa