The Kenyan government banned protests in Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisumu on Thursday amid heightening tensions over the October 26 rerun election.

Interior Acting Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi said the ban was aimed at protecting Kenyans and their property, the Daily Nation reports.

The decision to implement the ban followed a National Security Advisory Committee meeting.

Supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga and his National Super Alliance (NASA) have been demonstrating on the streets of major cities, pushing for reforms at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). On Wednesday, NASA supporters vowed to protest daily beginning next week.

The Daily Nation reports that protesters specifically want 11 IEBC officials fired for the irregularities recorded in the August 8 poll. They are also demanding that the IEBC drop the Dubai-based ballot printing company, Al Ghurair, and the French electoral technology supplier OT-Morpho.

It would be recalled that the August 8 election which produced incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta as the winner was nullified by the Supreme Court for irregularities in the electoral procedure.

A repeat election was subsequently scheduled for October 26, but Mr. Odinga announced earlier this week that he would boycott the poll over the IEBC’s refusal to implement reforms.

His refusal to participate in the rerun poll has led to protests in opposition strongholds.

A Kenya human rights group reported that at least 37 people have been killed in clashes between protesters and police since the August 8 election.

NASA supporters protesting for IEBC reforms

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