Kenyan police clashed with protesters in opposition strongholds Thursday as the nation voted for a new president for the second time in three months. The main opposition candidate, Raila Odinga had urged his supporters to boycott the latest race, reflecting bitter divisions in the country.
In the western town of Kisumu, police used tear gas and water cannons on opposition supporters and roads remained barricaded. Voting materials arrived, but electoral commission officials could not be found at some polling stations. Many Kisumu residents are staying away from the polls as a protest.
Voting appeared peaceful in most of the country. In the capital city of Nairobi, security was tight as soldiers equipped with long guns and tear gas canisters hovered near polling stations. In the Kibera slum area, the main opposition stronghold in the city, protesters pelted police with stones as officers fired live rounds in the air as a warning to disperse.
“There is no voting here, leave us alone,” protesters shouted. “No Raila no peace!”