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ECK clears candidates for by election

NAIROBI, Monday 26 – The Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) on Monday cleared several candidates in next month’s by-election in five constituencies.

Candidates presented their nomination papers to the ECK’s Returning Officers in their respective constituencies.

In Nairobi, The Independent Party (TIP) Chairman Kalembe Ndile , Orange Democratic Movement’s (ODM) Esther Muthoni Passaris and Democratic Party`s (DP) Anastancia Wairimu  who are vying for the Embakasi seat were cleared after presenting their papers to the ECK at the Kayole Social Hall.

The Party of National Unity {PNU} candidate, former Nairobi Deputy Mayor Ferdinand Waititu is expected to present his papers on Tuesday before the collapse of the deadline for participants to be cleared by the electoral body.

ODM held its nominations on Friday.  Benjamin Too emerged the winner in Ainamoi, Jonah Ng’eno secured Kilgoris and Wilbur Ottichilo was nominated in Emuhaya.

The PNU coalition gave direct nominations to former Immigration Minister Gideon Konchellah in Kilgoris and Professor Norah Olembo in Emuhaya.

ODM’s Wajir North candidate Mohammed Gubow is expected to square it out with Kanu’s Dr Ali Ibrahim in repeat poll planned for June 11, after they tied during last year’s General Election.

Passaris, who is set to face Waititu in the Embakasi parliamentary mini-poll, garnered 3,632 votes, to beat fellow contestants Irshad Sumra and Julius Were, brother to slain former Embakasi MP Mellitus Mugabe Were.

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The Passaris campaign yesterday received a boost after ODM-K’s candidate in last year’s poll, Dunston Muthama and Wairimu Were, wife to the slain MP announced that they will be backing her in the by-election.

Passaris said she was targeting to marshal at least 100,000 voters to enable her win the Embakasi seat.

She said:  “My priorities will be to address issues of infrastructure and unemployment, we also have problems with water and sewerage and the Dandora dumpsite; but the most important thing right now is to mobilise as many people to come out and vote.”

In Ainamoi, Benjamin Lang’at, brother to the former Ainamoi MP, the late David Kimutai Too, clinched the ODM ticket in hotly contested party nominations. The Ainamoi ODM nominations had attracted 10 aspirants.

David Kimutai Too was shot dead by a traffic policeman in Eldoret Town in a bizarre incident, making him the second legislator to be killed following the shooting of Mugabe Were outside his Woodley residence in January.

The ECK also cleared two aspirants in Emuhaya from the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and ODM.

Dr Ottichilo, a perennial contender in the Emuhaya race who won the ODM nominations last Friday, will now battle it out with at least three other candidates in next month’s by-election.

PNU nominations, expected to be conducted on Saturday, failed to take off after the party gave a direct nomination to Environmentalist Professor Norah Olembo.

Ottichilo was the runner-up in the December General Election with Professor Olembo coming in a close third.

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The Emuhaya seat fell vacant after Kenneth Marende was elected the Speaker of the National Assembly in January.

However, Ford-Kenya an affiliate to PNU has broken ranks and decided to field Julius Ochiel as its candidate.

Konchellah will battle it out with ODM’s Jonah Ng’eno and Samuel Tunai of United Democratic Movement (UDM) for the Kilgoris seat.

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