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Protester Killed in Demonstrations Against Kenya's Electoral Commission


Nairobi anti-riot police disperse small groups of protesters with tear gas ahead of anti-electoral commission demonstrations, May 23, 2016. (Jill Craig/VOA)

Protests against Kenya's electoral commission took place in three cities Monday, with local media reporting that police shot and killed at least one demonstrator in the western city of Kisumu.

A reporter for the Standard newspaper, Phillip Orwa, told VOA four other protesters in Kisumu were hospitalized.

Police also fired tear gas and arrested officials leading demonstrations at local offices of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in Mombasa and Kakamega.

Nairobi demonstration

In Nairobi, riot police cordoned off IEBC headquarters and used tear gas to disperse small groups gathering early Monday ahead of a planned march. Authorities say the demonstration was illegal.

Photos and videos of riot police clubbing and kicking protesters in Nairobi last Monday were shared widely on social media and sparked outrage.

Riot police used tear gas to disperse small groups of protesters in Nairobi, May 23, 2016. (Jill Craig/VOA)
Riot police used tear gas to disperse small groups of protesters in Nairobi, May 23, 2016. (Jill Craig/VOA)

The protesters, most of whom are supporters of the opposition CORD coalition, say the IEBC must be disbanded ahead of next year’s national election. The opposition says the IEBC favors the ruling Jubilee coalition.

The opposition has vowed to continue protests every Monday until the government decides to engage in meaningful dialogue about the electoral process.

Kenya is scheduled to hold presidential and parliamentary elections in August 2017.

While the last elections in 2013 went off peacefully, post-election violence after the disputed 2007 presidential election killed an estimated 1,100 people and displaced 600,000 Kenyans from their homes.

Amos Wangwa contributed reporting from Nairobi.

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