Kenya’s main opposition coalition said it will resume protests next week against alleged bias in the country’s election commission, ending a one-week break for a dialogue that did not happen.
The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) wants the commission to be scrapped. Its electronic vote results transmission system collapsed during the 2013 election that brought President Uhuru Kenyatta to power.
The next elections are not due until August 2017 but politicians are already trying to rally supporters in a country prone to political strife during elections. Violence erupted after the 2007 vote and the opposition disputed the outcome in 2013.
“The #CORDdemos will be on this Monday, following breached dialogue agreements,” CORD said on its Twitter feed. The opposition had hoped to speak with lawmakers allied to the government and election commission officials.
“#IEBCMustGo and we shall take nothing less for an answer,” it said, referring to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto urged the opposition on Wednesday to end demonstrations over the IEBC. IEBC officials have dismissed the allegations of bias and say they will stay.
On Friday, Kenyatta reiterated his call for CORD to follow the law, saying parliament’s legal committee was ready to start sittings to hear public views on how to reform the IEBC.
“We want dialogue like yesterday but it must be held within the confines of the law. Dialogue is not about going to the streets or meeting in tea rooms,” his office quoted him saying in a statement after a meeting with religious leaders.
Three people were killed in clashes on May 23 between demonstrators and police in Nairobi and other cities during marches against the IEBC led by opposition leader Raila Odinga’s CORD coalition. Clashes also flared during three other protests.
Odinga lost the 2013 vote and unsuccessfully challenged the result in court. A court declared the result valid and Odinga accepted the ruling.
Source: Nam News Network