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Gachoki is MP elect in Kirinyaga Central

KIRINYAGA, Kenya, Feb 16 – Joseph Gachoki of the Party of National Unity has won the Kirinyaga Central by-election after trouncing his closest rival, Narc Kenya\’s Daniel Karaba.

Mr Gachoki got 18,520 votes against Mr Karaba’s 16,681 votes.

Henry Muriuki of the Democratic Party garnered 1,406 votes while Kenya National Congress\’ Beth Wambura garnered 982 votes.  Social Democratic Party\’s Peter Murimi got 384 while Duncan Muraguri of PPK got 178 votes.  Ford K\’s Samuel Kagoiyo followed with 102 votes.

The by elections result is a plus for Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, who is battling for supremacy in Central Kenya against former Cabinet Minister Martha Karua.

When voting began, Mr Karaba took an early lead but he was soon surpassed by Mr Gachoki who maintained a steady margin throughout.

Mr Karaba is a former Member of Parliament and successfully challenged the 2007 election win of Ngata Kariuki when the High Court nullified the poll result last October.

Mr Karaba had moved court citing massive electoral malpractices.

In the application, Mr Karaba argued that former Electoral Commission of Kenya chairman Samuel Kivuitu admitted that he won the parliamentary election.

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This, he said, was verified by comments and observations of the Kriegler Commission following its independent analysis and verification of the results held by ECK.

Justice Warsame ruled that the 2007 election was not properly and fairly conducted.

He pointed out that the Returning Officer short-changed the will of the people of Kirinyaga Central by declaring the loser as winner.  "There was overwhelming evidence that the sitting MP did not garner the highest number of votes."

He ruled that the declaration by the Returning Officer was made without any basis and was a contravention of the law.

"By doing this, the Returning Officer compromised the rights of the constituents and the petitioner."

The judge said it was apparent that the official of the defunct ECK declared a winner without considering results from all 50 polling stations, and by doing so neglected his electoral duties, and caused confusion and doubt.

Mr Kariuki opted not to vie for the seat in Wednesday’s by-election.

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