( dpa ) - Kenyans braced Wednesday for three days of renewed opposition protests over disputed presidential polls, and while a strong security detail manned the streets of Nairobi, a morning downpour seemed likely to deter demonstrators.
Rioting broke out when backers of defeated presidential candidate Raila Odinga tried to reach Uhuru Park for two earlier demonstrations as protestors were thwarted by heavily armed riot police who shot tear gas and live ammunition at the crowds.
The unrest brought the thriving capital and other parts of the country to a standstill as stores closed for fear of violence and transport came to a halt, but on Wednesday, traffic flowed and many shops were open in Nairobi.
The three days of demonstrations were set to kick off in 25 cities and towns across the East African nation, which descended into violence after last month's polls that swept President Mwai Kibaki back into power in a vote that observers said was flawed.
Odinga has pledged to continue mass action despite calls from Kenya's leading newspapers that he take his grievances to parliament, where his Orange Democratic Movement holds a significant majority over Kibaki's Party of National Unity.
In a boost to Odinga, the first session of parliament held since the polls saw the National Assembly on Tuesday elect his preferred candidate for speaker.