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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 July, 2004, 17:45 GMT 18:45 UK
Tear gas fired at Nairobi rally
Demonstration in Nairobi, Kenya
The protesters defied a police ban on the rally
Kenyan riot police have fired tear gas in the capital against protesters demanding constitutional reform.

Police armed with batons and others on horseback chased demonstrators from the edge of Uhuru Park on the outskirts of Nairobi's business district.

The rally was organised by the main opposition party and a faction of the governing coalition.

Politicians and legislators joined hundreds of students and demonstrators as they took to the streets.

The Red Cross said at least 16 people had been injured during the clashes between police and protesters.

Last Monday President Mwai Kibaki said the 30 June deadline for having a new constitution would be missed.

The constitution has deeply divided the ruling Narc coalition and led to a government shake-up this week.

"Kenyans do not fall asleep, the struggle is still on," chanted the protesters, who had defied a police ban on the public rally.

The ban was imposed because the rally clashed with another political meeting and there were fears of violence.

Constitution debate

After coming to power in December 2002, President Kibaki promised to introduce a new constitution within 100 days, but the deadline was put back to 30 June this year, before being again postponed.

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The Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) Raila Odinga had been promised the new powerful post of prime minister in return for backing Mr Kibaki in the election.

A constitution review body earlier this year recommended the creation of a prime minister and the reduction of the president's powers despite opposition from Mr Kibaki's allies.

Mr Kibaki said political divisions along ethnic lines had hampered progress with the constitutional review, but that he remained committed to having a new constitution.

On Wednesday, Mr Kibaki brought members of the former ruling Kanu party into government and demoted LDP members.

The BBC's Mathew Charles
"MPs... say they're planning futher protests across the country"

Kenyan MPs to defy ban on rally
02 Jul 04  |  Africa
Kenya promised new constitution
30 Mar 04  |  Africa
Kenya constitution row in court
23 Mar 04  |  Africa

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