Police in Kenya have used tear gas to scatter opposition leaders and their supporters demanding the dissolution of the country’s electoral commission before next year’s elections.
On Monday, the Kenyan riot police fired warning shots and tear gas to disperse some 500 demonstrators trying to break through police lines and storm the electoral commission offices in the country’s capital, Nairobi.
Several protesters were arrested and at least two policemen were injured by stones, police said.
The opposition accuses the electoral commission of being biased and failing to act on their complaints over Kenya’s last presidential election in 2013, citing a series of irregularities that skewed the results.
Raila Odinga, former Kenyan premier and an opposition leader, had given notice of his plans to raid the offices of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in a rally in the capital on Sunday.
“We are not the only ones saying this. The church leaders have also spoken and said IEBC must be reconstituted, that is why we must go there tomorrow to eject them out of office,” Odinga said.
Other opposition leaders attending the rally included Kenya’s former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and former Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula.
Nairobi police had already warned ahead of the rally that only a few opposition representatives would be allowed into IEBC’s offices to present their grievances.
The next election in August 2017 is shaping up as a rematch of the 2013 election, with Odinga expected to unseat incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta.