Kenyans demand election reforms as police fire teargas

Kenyans demand election reforms as police fire teargas

The Parliament in Kenya on Wednesday 11th, October 2017 passed an amendment to the country's election laws allowing one of the contenders in a repeat of a presidential election to be declared a victor in case the other candidate withdrew from the rerun.

His supporters are unhappy at a new election law and fear it could lead to a walkover victory for incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta, in the re-run of the election later this month.

In August, Kenyatta defeated primary opposition leader Raila Odinga, leader of the National Super Alliance, in the original election.

The law was one of several changes approved by parliament - dominated by Kenyatta's ruling Jubilee party - on Wednesday that Odinga says will make the "irregularities" cited by the Supreme Court, legal.

Tuesday, Odinga dropped out of the race - saying election reforms he'd demanded were not done.

The Supreme Court last month rejected the August election in which Mr Kenyatta was declared the victor after Mr Odinga challenged the results, saying hackers infiltrated the electoral commission's computer system to manipulate the vote in Mr Kenyatta's favour. Protesters threw stones and were met with police tear gas.

However, the crowd later dispersed peacefully after speeches from opposition leaders, helped along by the first heavy rainfall of the season.

The decision came after High Court Justice Mativo delivered a verdict that all candidates who participated in the General Election held on the August 8, 2017 were entitled to participate as candidates in the fresh presidential election. The Supreme Court had ordered for a rerun between Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta.

The law sets out that if a candidate withdraws from a repeat presidential election in future, the other would win automatically.

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