Amid Opposition Boycott, Kenyans Vote In Re-Run Of Presidential Election

October 26, 2017

Security in Kenya was tight as the country went to the polls on Thursday for the second presidential election since August — this time amid a boycott by opposition leader Raila Odinga.

In the latest voting, Kenya’s media says supporters of Odinga have blocked some polling stations as police fired tear gas in clashes with the opposition in Kibera, a Nairobi slum that is a key stronghold of anti-Kenyatta sentiment.

Police also battled stone-throwing Odinga supporters in Kisumu, another opposition stronghold.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is seeking a second term, was announced the winner in the Aug. 8 vote, but irregularities soon surfaced and the Supreme Court subsequently nullified the results.

Odinga, who told his supporters not to cast ballots on Thursday, calls the vote a “charade.”

Speaking with NPR’s Eyder Peralta in Nairobi he said: “I think the time comes in the history of a country when people have to stand up and say no to impunity.”

The Associated Press reports:

“Voting, meanwhile, proceeded in areas where President Uhuru Kenyatta has support, but fewer voters were turning out in comparison to an Aug. 8 election that the Supreme Court nullified because it found illegalities and irregularities in the election process.

Voters lined up before dawn at a polling station in Kenyatta’s hometown of Gatundu and electoral workers prepared ballot papers by flashlight after heavy rains knocked out power to the site. Downpours also disrupted the delivery of ballot papers in Kenya’s Kitui area, according to local media.”

The BBC reports that about 70 people have been killed in violence since the August election.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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