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ECK sets by elections for Sept 25

NAIROBI, August 8 – Voters in Sotik and Bomet constituencies will go to the polls next month to elect their MP following the death of their representatives in a plane crash three months ago.

In a statement, Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) Chairman Samuel Kivuitu said the exercise would be held on September 25. Five civic wards will also participate in the by-elections.

“Nomination of candidates for the parliamentary and civic by-elections will be held on Monday 1st and Tuesday 2nd September 2008,” Kivuitu said.

The electoral areas include Kirari in Nithi, Central Asembo in Rarieda, West Kasipul in Rachuonyo, Cheberen in Mogotio and Maraba in Lurambi.

Kipkalya Kones and Lorna Laboso, who represented Bomet and Sotik respectively, perished on July 10 when their light aircraft crashed in Kojong’a hills near Nairegi Enkare trading centre – about 120 km West of Nairobi.

At the time of their death Kones served as Roads Minister while Laboso was Home Affairs Assistant Minister.

Meanwhile, behind the scene campaigns have already kicked off in earnest in the two constituencies.

In Sotik, where Laboso had made history as the first woman to be elected an MP in Kipisigis, up to 12 women aspirants are expected to join the race.  They include Laboso’s younger sister Dr. Joyce Laboso Abonyo who is a lecturer at Egerton University.

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Other candidates include former Nairobi Provincial Commissioner Francis Sigei, a politician-cum-businessman, Paul Mutai and Jonathan Rotich.

Sigei was trounced by Laboso in ODM primaries prior to last year’s general elections. Mutai on the other hand came second to Laboso during the ODM preliminaries.

Former area MP Anthony Kimeto who lost the elections on a New KANU ticket is also expected to join the race to reclaim the seat.

In Bomet, former MP Nick Salat is said to have started oiling his campaign machine ahead of the by-election.

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