Kenya bans protests until electoral issues are resolved; opposition pulls members from parliamentary talks

The oppositiion has threatened to double the frequency of protests should the government fail to agree to negotiations on electoral reform

KENYA has banned protests to demand electoral reforms until all contentious issues are resolved after two people were killed in opposition marches on Monday, Interior Secretary Joseph Nkaissery said.

The opposition Coaliton for Reforms and Democracy has staged protests in the capital, Nairobi, and other cities since April to demand the resignation of officials at the electoral agency over alleged corruption. 

“The government has banned demonstrations beginning today whether it’s CORD or anybody else,” Nkaissery told reporters in Nairobi flanked by Attorney General Githu Muigai and Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet

The announcement came as CORD withdrew its members from a parliamentary committee on electoral reforms saying it prefered instead talks at the “highest level.”  “CORD is going to withdraw the authority of its members in the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee and directs them to stop any further engagements in that committee,” the party said in an e-mailed statement. 

The joint parliamentary committee had planned meetings around the nation later this month to receive views from the public on reforming the electoral agency ahead of elections scheduled for August 2017, the Daily Nation reported Tuesday, without citing anyone. 

On Monday, the party threatened to double the frequency of protests should the government fail to agree to negotiations on electoral reform.

-Bloomberg

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