A MINOR opposition candidate was yesterday cleared by a judge to run for president in this month’s election in Kenya, bringing new uncertainty a day after opposition leader Raila Odinga withdrew from the new vote.

At the same time, politicians approved amendments to the country’s electoral law that have been criticised by the opposition and Western diplomats.

The amendments require the approval of President Uhuru Kenyatta, whose ruling party sought the changes after the Supreme Court nullified Kenyatta’s election in August and ordered a new vote.

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Elsewhere in Nairobi, police used tear gas to disperse thousands of opposition protesters who regrouped outside the election commission’s offices and demanded reforms.

The court ruling appeared to open the way for other candidates in the August election to run again on October 26, lending credibility.

The Supreme Court last month rejected the August election in which Kenyatta was declared the winner after Odinga challenged the results, saying hackers infiltrated the electoral commission’s computer system to manipulate the vote in Kenyatta’s favour.

Odinga then surprised Kenyans on Tuesday by withdrawing from the fresh election, saying the electoral commission must be changed or the new vote risked having the same problems as the first one.