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Kenya opposition party calls for more protests over disputed election

[JURIST] Kenya's main opposition party, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) [party website], Friday called for three days of protests over the disputed re-election [JURIST report] of Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki [official profile]. More than 500 people have already died in violent demonstrations since Kibaki's re-election at the end of December. A spokesman for ODM said that the call for rallies is a response to the failure of the African Union to facilitate talks between Kibaki and opposition candidate Raila Odinga [campaign profile]. Odinga and Kibaki blamed each other for the establish a power-sharing agreement. Last week, Kenyan Attorney General Amos Wako [official profile] called for an independent investigation [JURIST report] into the vote. Citing accusations of election fraud raised by Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Kenya [official website] Samuel Kivuitu, Wako insisted that "a proper tally of the valid certificates returned and confirmed should be undertaken immediately" by an independent and mutually agreed-upon body. AP has more.

The controversial presidential vote has sparked simmering ethnic tensions in Kenya [JURIST news archive], where Kibaki has long been accused of using his position to favor members of the Kikuyu tribe. Fueling accusations of malfeasance, Kibaki won the election despite early opinion polls that placed rival candidate Odinga in the lead. Thousands of opposition supporters took to the streets [JURIST report] following the election prompted the government to temporarily ban public rallies.

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