NAIROBI, September 3 – The Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) on Wednesday published the names of 20 candidates who have been cleared to participate in the September 25 by-elections in Bomet and Sotik constituencies.
ECK Chairman Samuel Kivuitu said that they had given clearance to 12 candidates in Sotik and eight in Bomet.
The seats were left vacant the deaths of Kipkalya Kones who was the Minister for Roads and Lorna Laboso who was an Assistant Minister in the Office of the Vice President.
They were killed in June this year when the light aircraft they were traveling in crashed in bad weather.
The late Kones’ widow Pauline Cherono and Nick Salat of KANU will lead the onslaught in Bomet seat while Joyce Laboso of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), and former President Moi’s aide-de-camp Alexander Sitienei will vie for the Sotik seat on a United Democratic Movement (UDM) ticket.
Laboso hopes she will be able win the seat and replicate the fete achieved by her late sister by becoming the second female legislator from the area.
Sitienei defected to UDM after losing last Friday’s ODM primaries claiming that there irregularities and interference by top party officials.
Other candidates in the Bomet race include Joseph Koech (UDM), Lila Sieley (ODM-K) Samwel Maina (UDP) and Stephen Kibet Koskei (Narc-Kenya)
Eunice Mongina Chebet (PNU), Eunice Kirui Chepkorir (KANU), Joseph Cheruyiot (ODM-K) are among the candidates contesting the Sotik seat.
Kivuitu commended women for taking part in the nominations. Nine of them will be contesting the two parliamentary seats.
In the civic nominations however, only three women against 20 men qualified for by-elections in five civic wards.
He said: “The ECK is proud of the enthusiasm women have continued to muster in seeking elective positions, despite the harassment, intimidation and hostility some of them undergo in pursuit of party tickets.”
Kivuitu said female representation in leadership remains low, yet they have strong leadership qualities and a demographic advantage.
Civic by-elections will take place in Kiraro, Cheberen, Maraba, Central Asembo and West Kasipul.