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U.S. says it’s ‘deeply concerned’ about Kenya’s political environment

NAIROBI – The U.S. government is “deeply concerned” about the political environment in Kenya as police and protesters clashed ahead of its presidential election on Oct. 26, the U.S. State Department said in a statement on Friday.

It said that while the United States did not back any party or candidate, it fully supports the work of an election board, adding: “Unfortunately, in recent weeks actors on all sides have undermined the electoral commission and stoked tensions.”

The main opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) party led by Raila Odinga is holding weekly protests calling for reforms at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

They want the IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba and other commissioners to be sacked for allegedly rigging the August 8 elections in favour of the ruling Jubilee party.

The police dispersed the protests with teargas as hundreds of opposition supporters burn tyres and block roads.

Raila Odinga has warned the police not to attack or stop protesters from exercising their rights.

He vowed that until their demands are met, there will be demonstrations every Monday and Friday, and they will not be ready for the October 26 election re-run.

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