Kenyan opposition to hold protest outside UN headquarters

Kenyan opposition party, the National Super Alliance, is to hold a major demonstration outside the United Nations headquarters in New York on Saturday, Kenya’s Daily Nation reported on Friday.

The protest is aimed at bringing to the attention of the international community the crisis facing the East African country since the bungled August 8 elections were annulled by the country’s Supreme Court on the grounds of unverified results.

Kenyan US Diaspora Chairman, Dr George Omburo, warned that the stalemate in talks between the opposition and the government, and the uncertainty as to whether the rerun of elections, due on October 26, would actually proceed was cause for alarm and the international community needed to pay special attention.

The planned protests outside the UN followed Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga announcing that he would organise fresh protests in Kenya to push for electoral commission reforms and to prevent the ruling party from removing safeguards against electoral fraud ahead of the fresh presidential elections.

The opposition leader called for the countrywide protests to take place every Monday and Friday from next week onwards after talks between the electoral commission, the ruling party and his representatives on how to hold fresh presidential elections broke down on Thursday.

Odinga’s National Super Alliance objects to Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party reported plans to use its majority in parliament to remove a requirement that results be transmitted electronically.

Odinga, meanwhile, asserts that the government is heading towards a dictatorship.

He said his running mate, former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, was stopped at the airport earlier Thursday while about to travel out of the country and was told he had to seek clearance from the presidency for international travel.

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Furthermore, the opposition leader’s security detail and that of Musyoka have been removed in what has been interpreted as an effort to intimidate the opposition.

Odinga has warned that he will not participate in the fresh poll without major reforms to the electoral commission while Kenyatta has said changes are unnecessary.

– African News Agency (ANA), editing Moses Mudzwiti