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2017 KENYA ELECTIONS

Nairobi County Speaker’s post attracts 9 as lobbying intensifies

Nine contestants are already lined up, including incumbent Alex Magelo, even as it seems Jubilee members will have an easier ride, with the party holding majority seats in the House/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 16 – There is intense lobbying at the Nairobi County government for seat of Speaker of the County Assembly ahead of the gazettement of elected Ward Representatives by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Nine contestants are already lined up, including incumbent Alex Magelo, even as it seems Jubilee members will have an easier ride, with the party holding majority seats in the House.

The Speaker is the head of the Legislative Arm of the County Government and presides over its sittings.

Former Makadara MP Bernard Mutura, who was defeated by former city Mayor George Aladwa with 45,516 against 41,125 votes, will also be seeking the seat.

Former Nairobi Women’s Representative Rachel Shebesh and Karen Nyamu also expressed interest but Jubilee Ward Reps meeting in Ngara reportedly rejected them.

Others in the race are deputy Speaker Ken Ngondi, County Public Service Board Vice Chairperson Vesca Kangongo, outgoing Karura MCA Kamau Thuo, Mohammed Abdi who is nominated and businessman Abbas Khalif.

Magelo was elected in 2013, when the then CORD had a majority in the Assembly – 43 against The National Alliance’s (TNA) 42.

He trounced Mutunga Mutungi by one vote after three rounds of voting.

The Speaker joined Jubilee but lost the party ticket for Kajiado West parliamentary seat during the 2017 primaries.

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In the just-concluded polls, Jubilee has secured 45 seats against 39 of the National Super Alliance’s (NASA).

Magelo is banking on his track record in seeking re-election and on one occasion, he allowed Governor-elect Mike Sonko, then Senator, to address the Assembly over mismanagement by outgoing Governor Evans Kidero.

Ngondi, the outgoing Kware MCA, is a staunch NASA supporter and is likely to have a difficult time persuading the Jubilee members to support him.

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