Kenya police break up opposition protests


A man is knocked off his motorbike by Kenyan riot police officers during a demonstration of Kenya's opposition supporters in Nairobi, on May 16, 2016.

NAIROBI, Kenya - Kenyan police fired tear gas and beat protestors with truncheons Monday to prevent opposition demonstrators from storming the offices of the electoral commission to demand its dissolution.



Hundreds of supporters were blocked from the offices of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), an AFP reporter witnessed. Some protestors threw stones at police.

There have been several such protests in recent weeks.

Protests were also held in other Kenyan towns including Kisumu and Kisii, with police there firing tear gas to break up the crowds, local media reported.

Raila Odinga, a former prime minister who lost his latest bid for the presidency in 2013, accuses the commission of being biased towards President Uhuru Kenyatta. He has demanded that a new slate of commissioners be named ahead of the next election in August 2017.

Kenyatta beat Odinga by more than 800,000 votes to win the presidency in 2013.

Odinga and civil society groups accused the electoral commission of a series of irregularities that they said skewed the results.

The election nonetheless passed off peacefully, in contrast to the country&39;s disputed 2007 elections which degenerated into fierce inter-ethnic violence that killed more than 1,100 people after Odinga&39;s supporters challenged his defeat by Mwai Kibaki.
The next election in August 2017 is shaping up as a rematch of the 2013 election, with 71-year old Odinga expected to try to unseat Kenyatta, 54.

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