NAIROBI - At least one person was shot dead at an opposition rally for electoral reforms in western Kenya, according to a local reporter.
Phillip Orwa of the Standard newspaper tells VOA that another 20 people were wounded Monday as police confronted protesters in the city of Kisumu.
In the capital Nairobi, hundreds of opposition supporters marched to the headquarters of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), waving tree branches and signs that read “Kenyans Don’t Trust IEBC.”
Court declines to block protest
Kenya's high court this morning declined to block the planned protests. The judge also ordered the police to provide security for the demonstrators.
James Orengo, a senator from Siaya county, and a CORD leader, welcomed the news.
“The order that has been made by the judge of the high court today, is a great victory for the country," he said. "There was a habit that was beginning to emerge where certain elements in government were trying to use the courts in order to sanitize their activities.”
Riot police were noticeably absent from the streets in Nairobi, though about a dozen were deployed inside the IEBC compound. Unlike previous weeks, tear gas and water cannon were not deployed Monday in Nairobi to disperse protesters.
Call for electoral reforms
The CORD opposition coalition is demanding electoral reforms ahead of the 2017 national polls, including the dissolution of the IEBC board which the opposition says is biased in favor of the ruling Jubilee coalition.
The near weekly protests began in April, and Kenyans have taken to calling them “Machozi Monday,” for the tear gas used by police. Three people were killed in western Kenya during the last round of demonstrations May 23. Photos and videos of police beating protesters have sparked public outcry.
Attempts last week to hold talks between the opposition and the government failed.