Kenyan Opposition Halts Protests for a Day After Police Action

Riot police in Nairobi on Oct. 16.

Photographer: Tony Karumba/AFP via Getty Images

Kenya’s main opposition group, the National Super Alliance, which began daily protests on Monday to demand electoral reforms, will stay off the streets on Tuesday after accusing the police of using excessive force on its supporters.

“This is a temporary step to enable the coalition to attend to the supporters who were brutalized and hurt and families that lost loved ones,” Dennis Onyango, spokesman for opposition leader Raila Odinga, said late Monday in an emailed statement.

Police fired tear gas at about 100 demonstrators that gathered in the capital’s city center and monitored protests in the western city of Kisumu, an opposition stronghold.

Nasa, as the opposition group is known, wants the Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission to make changes to its staff and systems before an Oct. 26 presidential ballot rerun. The election is being repeated after the Supreme Court annulled the Aug. 8 vote that it said was poorly handled.

“Nasa condemns the unfolding policy of ethnic profiling and use of brutal and lethal force being meted out on protesters,” Onyango said. “The coalition appeals to human rights organizations to take keen interest in the atrocities being committed against its supporters across the country and provide necessary support to victims in addition to taking actions commensurate with the crimes.”

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.