In Summary
  • To maintain pressure, his opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa) coalition has called for protests every day next week.

  • On Wednesday, police tear-gassed rowdy protesters who threw stones at passing cars in Nairobi, while security forces engaged in running battles with demonstrators in Odinga's western stronghold of Kisumu.

  • In Kisumu thousands of protesters chanted: "No reforms, no elections".

Kenyan police fired teargas at opposition protesters who burned tyres and lobbed stones, a day after their leader Raila Odinga announced his withdrawal from the presidential race, plunging the country into uncharted waters.

As poll officials mulled their next move, opinions were split on what the veteran opposition leader's move could mean for a dramatic election saga that saw President Uhuru Kenyatta's August 8 victory annulled by the Supreme Court in a first for Africa.

STONES

President Kenyatta insists an October 26 do-over must go ahead, though his long-time rival Odinga says his withdrawal legally forces election officials to begin the entire process from scratch, leaving more time for his reform demands to be met.

To maintain pressure, his opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa) coalition has called for protests every day next week.

On Wednesday, police tear-gassed rowdy protesters who threw stones at passing cars in Nairobi, while security forces engaged in running battles with demonstrators in Odinga's western stronghold of Kisumu.

In Kisumu thousands of protesters chanted: "No reforms, no elections".

Kenya's Supreme Court last month annulled the August election, citing widespread irregularities in counting and mismanagement by election officials, and called for a re-run within 60 days.

REFORMS

The decision was hailed across the globe and held up as an opportunity to deepen Kenyan democracy.

However, the process quickly turned sour, with increasingly ugly rhetoric, including attacks by Mr Kenyatta on the judiciary.

Mr Odinga demanded deep reforms that the election commission (IEBC) said were impossible to deliver in the constitutionally mandated period.

It was this failure to make the required changes to procedure that Odinga said pushed him to withdraw Tuesday from the race.

"All indications are that the election scheduled for 26 October will be worse than the previous one," he said.

2013 CASE

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