Kenyan police fired tear gas into a crowd of opposition leaders and their supporters as they marched on the office of the country’s electoral commission to demand it disband before next year’s election. Several protesters were arrested and at least two policemen were injured by stones, police said. The opposition rejected the outcome of the last presidential vote in March 2013. Its leaders petitioned the supreme court to overturn the result. The court upheld it. Raila Odinga, the leader of the opposition and its candidate for president, said then that he accepted the court’s decision and the victory of his opponent, Uhuru Kenyatta. That helped avert the kind of violence that broke out after Kenya’s 2007 election, when more than 1,200 people were killed.
But now Odinga and his fellow opposition leaders have turned on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), demanding that it be dissolved before the elections set for August 2017.
Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula, leaders of the main opposition CORD coalition, said over the weekend they would storm the IEBC offices and eject its commissioners.
They led about 500 supporters, who waved placards, whistled, shouted, and threw stones at police, to the commission’s office in downtown Nairobi. Riot police dispersed them with tear gas.