Kenyan police on Monday tear-gassed Kenya’s main opposition leaders and hundreds of their supporters who were demanding the dissolution of the electoral authority because of alleged bias and corruption. Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Senator Moses Wetangula staged a sit-in on the highway outside the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission in Nairobi along with their supporters. Some demonstrators pelted police with stones and police dispersed the demonstrators using tear gas. Kenya is to hold general elections in 15 months and the main opposition leaders have threatened to boycott them if the electoral authority is not reformed.
Police had surrounded the offices with water cannons and baton-wielding officers in advance of the demonstration, organized by the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy. Police Chief Japeth Koome warned that officers would allow peaceful demonstrations but would not tolerate any breach of the peace.
Police previously dispersed the leaders and their supporters two weeks ago when they held a similar protest vowing to eject the members of the electoral commission from their offices. The opposition argues that it has had to resort to street protests after the government rejected its proposal to hold discussions about the electoral commission. The opposition would lose if the debate were taken to parliament, opposition leaders say.