Protesters shot dead amid ongoing Kenya poll violence

Two protesters have been shot dead in Kenya in violence sparked by the opposition leader pulling out of a planned re-run of the presidential election.

The shootings occurred as a crowd of about 2,000 people threw rocks at a police station in Siaya County, a stronghold of opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Mr Odinga withdrew on Tuesday from the re-run of the race with incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta, which was due to take place on 26 October.

On Wednesday, Kenya’s parliament passed a controversial amendment to the country’s election laws, ruling if one candidate withdraws from a repeat presidential vote the other candidate would win automatically. The move sparked violence.

Mr Odinga told The Associated Press he’s willing to return to the race if the government is “ready to do business and deal” on reforms.

Three other people taking part in the protest in Siaya County were shot.

Police said shops were also robbed. An investigation has been launched.

In the capital Nairobi, police fired tear gas at opposition supporters who attempted to march on the city centre, despite a new government ban on protests in the central business districts of Kenya’s three largest cities.

TV pictures also showed running battles between the police and stone-throwing youths in the regional centre of Kisumu. Opposition legislator Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir said tear gas was used in Mombasa.

The latest deaths bring the number of people killed since the results of the August election were known to at least 37.

Mr Kenyatta won the disputed poll but Kenya’s Supreme Court annulled the result due to alleged voting irregularities, and ordered a new one.

Opposition leaders have called for daily demonstrations.

Mr Odinga said he has left the race because no reforms to the electoral commission have been made.

He said in an interview in London: “In spite of years of progress, democracy is in jeopardy in Africa… because many pro-democracy activists are no longer sure that they have support of the West.”

He added: “There’s no point in us going to an election whose outcome is already predetermined, an election where the competitor is setting the rules and changes the rule in the middle of the game.

“You’re playing, and when you come back half time, the rule has now been changed.”


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