NAIROBI - Hundreds of demonstrators torched 221 coffins outside Kenya's parliament on Wednesday in protest at legislators who voted last week to triple their end-of-term bonuses and award themselves state funerals.

President Mwai Kibaki, aware of popular resentment over lawmakers' perks and with an eye on a March 4 general election, subsequently refused to sign the benefit increase into law.

But Kenyans went ahead with the protest march anyway to highlight their anger over a political class in East Africa's largest economy widely regarded as greedy and corrupt.

They staged a macabre procession through central Nairobi, wailing and singing as they hoisted coffins made of plywood and tarred in black paint, representing Kenyan lawmakers.

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