, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 17 – Daylong clashes between Jubilee Party and National Super Alliance (NASA) supporters in Laare, Meru County led to the cancellation of a much anticipated rally by NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga.
Police had a hectic time trying to restore order in the town as the two groups engaged in running battles often hurling stones at each other.
Matters got worse after suspected Jubilee supporters stormed Laare Stadium and torched a wooden podium that was to be used by Odinga while addressing the rally.
However, the organisers set up a new metallic stage.
The Jubilee supporters later lit bonfires in the stadium and various points in the town as they put up a spirited attempt to block Odinga and his convoy from entering the town.
Odinga who announced he has withdrawn from next Thursday’s fresh presidential election was expected to expound to his supporters the nature of electoral reforms he wants implemented before he can agree to participate.
Among the reforms Odinga is demanding include the replacement of suppliers of equipment used to transmit election results and the replacement of electoral officials the opposition claimed were complicit in electoral fraud.
The new poll was ordered by the Supreme Court after the Opposition challenged results of the election in August which gave the incumbent, Uhuru Kenyatta, a second presidential term.
The August poll was annulled by judges concerned by procedural failures and a lack of transparency, which they said rendered the result invalid.