Images of police violence against demonstrators, viewed widely on social media, have caused international outrage. Protestors are calling for reform amid accusations that the Election Commission is biased. The political impasse in Kenya shows no signs of abetting as both sides of the political divide stand by their positions regarding the future of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). Opposition politicians and protestors continue to demand the body’s disbandment, accusing it of bias towards President Uhuru Kenyatta. But the ruling Jubilee coalition has ruled out dissolving the IEBC. On Monday, protests against IEBC were brutally quashed by anti-riot police, injuring several people and prompting international condemnation.
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has vowed that his supporters will demonstrate until their grievances are met. “If the Jubilee government is ready for dialogue then we are ready to talk to them,” he said. “But as my colleague has said, our demonstrations will be held on every Monday until the Jubilee government is be ready to hold talks with us.”
Martha Karua, another leading Kenyan opposition politician, voiced the same sentiments as Odinga, saying that the protests would not stop until the government of Kenya agrees to negotiations. “We’re waiting for their communication, when something is on the table then a response will be given,” she said.
Prolific Kenyan political commentator Patrick Gathara is optimistic that talks will take place. “It’s not the first time the opposition has employed this sort of tactics to get the government to negotiate. In the 90s, we had mass action to push for changes to the electoral system and I think what’s happening now is simply following that same template,” he told DW. The protests are designed to get the government to come to the negotiating table with better terms than if the opposition took a parliamentary route, Gathara added.
Full Article: Kenya′s opposition vows to continue protests | Africa | DW.COM | 18.05.2016.