Friday, July 22, 2005

ABSOLUTE POWER..?


Violent protests persist in Kenya.

Protesters object to a controversial draft constitution.
Kenyan demonstrators have staged a third day of protests over Kenya's constitution as parliament debates a controversial new draft. Police reportedly used teargas to disperse crowds that started gathering in central Nairobi on Thursday afternoon. One person was shot dead in Wednesday's clashes with police. Critics say the proposed changes to the constitution leave the president with too much power.
President Mwai Kibaki was elected in 2002, partly on a promise to reduce the president's powers within 100 days. However, the process has dragged on.
Some 20 people were detained during the first two days of protests, which were banned by authorities, Reuters news agency reports. "We will put up as much protest as necessary to stop a few politicians disregarding the will of the people," Kotiamet Ole-Kina, whose Katiba (Constitution) Watch group is one of those organising the demonstrations, told Reuters.
Parliament has until Friday to finalise its version of the constitution before Kenyans have their say in a referendum in October.

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