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Kenya election: Kenyatta sworn in for new term

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Kenya election: Kenyatta sworn in for new term

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mr Kenyatta will be serving his second term as president

Uhuru Kenyatta has been sworn in for a second term as president of Kenya at a ceremony in the capital, Nairobi, boycotted by the opposition.

Delighted supporters packed the stadium but riot police drove back others as they tried to get in without seats.

In another part of the city, police clashed with opposition supporters trying to hold a rally.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga, who boycotted an election re-run last month, mocked Tuesday's "coronation".

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Mr Kenyatta was officially re-elected with 98% of the vote on 26 October but just under 39% of voters turned out.

The original election on 8 August was held over again after being annulled by the Supreme Court on grounds of irregularities.

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What is the mood at the stadium?

Spectators inside Nairobi's Kasarani sports stadium were entertained by music and dance performances, while the military paraded.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A cannon salute was fired
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The stadium was packed with supporters
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The luckier Kenyatta supporters have seats inside the stadium

However, there were scenes of chaos outside when people without seats tried to rush in and were driven back by police with tear gas and batons, with some officers on horseback.

Big screens had been promised so that tens of thousands of people could watch the ceremony from outside the stadium but no screens were provided, AFP news agency reports.

"I just want to see President Uhuru Kenyatta because I voted for him," Janet Wambua, who was among the angry crowd, told agency. "Why are we being beaten?"

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption People fell down as police fired tear gas outside the stadium

Eunice Jerobon, a trader who travelled overnight from the Rift Valley town of Kapsabet for the inauguration, told Reuters news agency of his hopes under the re-elected president.

"I'm sure Uhuru will be able to bring people together and unite them so we can all work for the country."

Which foreign leaders are attending?

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Rwandan President Paul Kagame are among a number of African leaders attending.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also expected in Nairobi but for an event later in the presidential palace, the Jerusalem Post reports.

Why was the election re-run?

Chief Justice David Maraga said the August election had not been "conducted in accordance with the constitution" and declared it "invalid, null and void".

The Supreme Court ruled that the result had been "neither transparent nor verifiable".

But Mr Odinga urged his supporters to boycott the second vote because he said no reforms had been made to the electoral commission since the original poll.

Correspondents say the election dispute has left Kenya deeply divided.

About 50 people are reported to have been killed in violence since the August ballot.

Burning tyres

By Anne Soy, BBC News, Nairobi

There were confrontations between police and opposition supporters in the suburb of Doonholm.

Angry protesters lit tyres, barricaded roads and threw stones at the police and some ruling party supporters. "No Raila, no peace," they shouted as police lobbed tear gas canisters to disperse them.

"We do not recognise Uhuru Kenyatta," one protester holding a sling loaded with a stone told me. Another protester said he was angry that the police had blocked access to the venue where the opposition had planned to hold a rally.

Mr Odinga told the BBC that they wanted to mourn the death of their supporters who were allegedly killed by police over the past week-and-a-half. The police have denied shooting and killing any opposition supporters.

How are the opposition responding?

According to Mr Odinga, Mr Kenyatta was elected by "just a small section of the country".

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Raila Odinga told his supporters that "a third liberation is coming soon"

In the opposition stronghold of Kisumu, in the west of the country, local people told BBC News they were not happy with the inauguration.

"I am going to peacefully accept and move on but I won't recognise this presidency," said one man.

"I don't even think I'd ever go to any government office to seek for services because I know it's a government that has come to office by force, it has killed people to be there."

A woman said Mr Kenyatta had not won fairly.

"A large part of the country did not vote – Kisumu being a major part that did not vote – and so we feel that it's not time to move on," she said. "It will not be an easy thing to do."

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Source – bbc.com

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