Polls close as violence mars Kenya election rerun


Polls have closed in a rerun of Kenya’s presidential election that was boycotted by the main opposition leader and marred by clashes between his supporters and security forces.

Voting was postponed in at least four counties due to “security challenges”, the country’s electoral board said on Thursday.

The four counties were Homa Bay, Kisumu, Migori and Siasa, according to Chebukati.

At least two people were killed in the opposition stronghold of Kisumu and several others wounded as police engaged in running street battles with protesters. One person was also killed in Homa Bay.

In Kibera, a slum in the capital, Nairobi, at least one polling station remained closed most of the day as protesters barricaded roads and security forces fired tear gas and live bullets to disperse them.

The security services rejected claims that they had used excessive force against protesters.

In most polling stations in areas where the electoral body postponed the poll, voters did not show up to cast their ballot.

Low voter turnouts were also reported in the coastal city of Mombasa, a stronghold of the NASA opposition coalition.

Kenya is holding the poll rerun after the Supreme Court annulled the August 8 presidential election result due to “illegalities and irregularities” with the voting process.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is seeking a second and final five-year term, is expected to win as Raila Odinga, his main challenger in the annulled poll, is not in the running.

Opposition lawmaker Junet Mohamed said elections did not happen in most parts of the country.

Polling started at 6am local time (03:00 GMT) and closed at 5pm (14:00 GMT), but several polling stations opened later due to logistical challenges, the electoral body said.

More than 19 million Kenyans are registered to vote in the election rerun.





Source:  News agencies