Presidential Voting Postponed in Kenya Again Amid Tensions

Opposition Supporters burn tyres and barricade Roads as they fight Anti Riot Police in running battles at Samaria, Kisumu, Kenya, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. Kenya is holding the rerun of its disputed presidential election Thursday, despite a boycott by the main opposition party and rising political tensions in the East African country. (AP Photo)

Political and religious leaders in western Kenya warn that plans to re-attempt presidential polling in four counties will further inflame tensions.

The electoral commission postponed voting in those areas Thursday due to security concerns amid an opposition boycott. Late Friday, the electoral commission postponed the voting again, citing threats to electoral staff. No new date has been announced.

Residents in western Kenya, a stronghold of opposition leader Raila Odinga, say they plan to respect Odinga’s call to boycott the polls again.

“I am not going to vote and we will make sure no one goes to vote,” resident Joshua Ochieng said. “Because every time we vote, our victory is stolen. This should be the last time our victory is stolen.”

Violent unrest prevented polling stations from opening Thursday in the city of Kisumu, with youths blocking roads and clashing with security forces. Hospital officials tell VOA three people were killed by gunshot wounds and more than 50 were injured.

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SOURCE: VOA News, Mohammed Yusuf