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Kenya opposition supporters demand sacking of poll officials | Coastweek

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan security forces disperse National Super Alliance (NASA) supporters during a demonstration in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, Sept. 26, 2017. NASA supporters on Tuesday marched to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) headquarters to force its top officials to resign for allegedly bungling the Aug. 8 general election. XINHUA PHOTOS - CHARLES ONYANGO

Kenya opposition supporters demand sacking of poll officials

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s opposition supporters staged street demonstrations on Tuesday to press for removal of electoral officials accused of bungling the Aug. 8 presidential elections.

Hundreds of opposition supporters staged protests in Nairobi and Kisumu to force the officials out of office before the repeat polls scheduled on Oct. 26.

The Nairobi demonstrations took place outside the electoral agency’s offices, while in the lakeside city of Kisumu, protesters waved placards reading "Chiloba must go" while beeping motorbike horns.

The opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) has maintained that the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC) CEO Ezra Chiloba and some senior staff rigged the election and can not be trusted to handle a re-run.

Anti-riot police were mobilized in Nairobi and instructed to disperse demonstrators should the protest turn violent. Some businesses in the two cities closed for fear of looting.

The protesters who were largely peaceful briefly staged a sit-in at IEBC officers before being dispersed by anti-riot police who tried to separate them from a counter-protest by supporters of the ruling Jubilee Party.

The protests were allowed after NASA official Norman Magaya had on Monday notified the police of their intention to hold peaceful protests in Nairobi.

"We kindly request you to organize for the necessary security arrangements to ensure the safety of all leaders and citizens who will participate in the demonstrations," Magaya said in his letter to the Nairobi County Police Commander Japheth Koome.

  Kenya opposition supporters demand sacking of poll officials | Coastweek

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan opposition presidential candidate Raila Odinga [second right] addresses journalists in Nairobi. Raila Odinga on Tuesday criticized the government for withdrawing his security detail and that of his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka. XINHUA PHOTO - FRED MUTUNE

"We, however, note that this notification does not in any way amount to seeking permission to demonstrate or picket from the police as your office has often misconstrued such notices in the past and purported to refuse to grant such permission," Magaya said.

He emphasized that the demonstrations will be peaceful and the party has mobilized its own marshals to control crowds.

NASA led by opposition leader, Raila Odinga, has demanded that several poll officials be hounded out of office and prosecuted ahead of the repeat presidential election.

Odinga has insisted that there will be no repeat elections on Oct. 26 if the officials remain in office.

"If they don’t leave, we will go there and eject them," Odinga said during a rally in Nairobi on Sunday.

Should the opposition efforts be successful, the Oct. 26 elections will have to be called off to a later date.

However, the Jubilee government has maintained that the electoral body will conduct the re-run as is currently constituted.

The protests came as IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati called on the opposition to temporarily halt their demos on Tuesday to enable the commission to address the concerns raised by various stakeholders, saying that the commission has put in place various measures in place to enhance the credibility of the repeat presidential election.

Kenya’s Supreme Court said that serious illegalities and irregularities found during the presidential election led to its decision to invalidate the presidential election.

Director of Public Prosecution Keriako Tobiko on Sunday instructed the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the police to probe the officials mentioned by NASA.

Meanwhile, the government on Tuesday reportedly withdrew the bodyguards of NASA leaders Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka, who were expected to lead their supporters in the demonstration.

Odinga’s spokesman Dennis Onyango said the bodyguards were on Monday night asked to report to paramilitary police headquarters in Nairobi for further instructions.

"The withdrawal of my security and that of Odinga is illegal.

"The law requires presidential candidates to have an all-round security protection," said Musyoka Tuesday.



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