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A rerun of Kenya’s presidential election is proceeding today despite violence between police and protesters and calls for a boycott from the main opposition party.
Reuters reported that police have fired tear gas and water cannons at opposition supporters who set up barricades to block access to polling stations. The news agency said that at least one person was been killed and several others injured after police fired at protesters in the western city of Kisumu, a stronghold of opposition leader Raila Odinga.
Odinga, who withdrew from standing in the second vote because he claimed it would not be free and fair, today tweeted that his party is “transforming … into a resistance movement.”
Amnesty International said in a statement that security forces have been heavily deployed in opposition strongholds and have urged the police to exercise restraint.
The second vote was ordered after Kenya’s Supreme Court last month nullified the result of presidential elections. The initial vote, on August 8, was announced in favor of incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta. However, the court found that the electoral commission had erred in announcing the result before the count had been verified.
The recent unrest has stoked fears of a repeat of the violence that followed Kenya’s 2007 election and claimed an estimated 1,300 lives.