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Kenyan Police Kill Two as Opposition Protests Presidential Revote


Riot policemen fire teargas a canister to disperse supporters of Kenyan opposition

Police in Western Kenya have killed two people during a protest against the planned revote of August’s presidential election.

The violence took place in Siaya County. The police chief of Bondo said three others were injured with gunshot wounds.

Police used tear gas to break up demonstrations that were defying a ban on protests in Kenya’s three major cities, including the capital, Nairobi.

Kenya’s electoral commission, the IEBC, decided this week that the repeat presidential election will take place on October 26.

Opposition candidate Raila Odinga and his coalition withdrew from that election earlier this week. They hope the move would lead to the cancelation of the election and new candidate nominations.

Odinga cited a Supreme Court decision in 2013 that says a withdrawal must lead to the cancelation of the race.

The IEBC said that it cannot force a candidate to take part in an election. But it said Odinga did not submit the official document needed to remove his name, but only sent a letter.

The protest ban came after the opposition party promised to hold demonstrations to demand changes in election procedures.

Interior Minister Fred Matiangi released the order on Thursday. It bars protests in central Mombassa, Kisumu and Nairobi. The order said there was a “clear, present and imminent danger of breach of peace.”

Peaceful demonstrations are permitted by Kenya’s constitution. But Matiangi said he would not accept those who “destroy property and businesses of innocent people.”

Matiangi said it was the responsibility of the opposition to follow the law unless it meant to hurt innocent people.

Thousands of protestors demonstrated on the streets of Nairobi Wednesday, one day after Odinga announced he would not take part in the re-vote.

In September, the Supreme Court cancelled the results of the August 8 election after charges of problems with the vote counting. The high court required that new elections take place within 60 days.

I’m Susan Shand

Susan Shand adapted this story for Learning English from reports by VOA News. Mario Ritter was the editor.

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Words in This Story

cite - v. to mention (something) especially as an example or to support an idea or opinion.

procedures –n.

imminent - adj. happening very soon

breach - v. a failure to do what is required by a law, an agreement.

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