Jubilee Party, PNU in battle of votes in Laikipia
03 June 2016, 20:43
Nairobi - The Jubilee Alliance Party (JAP) is in a political battle with Party of National Unity (PNU) in Laikipia County at Ngobit Ward by-election that is underway.
The seat fell vacant following the death of Laikipia County Assembly Majority Leader, Ephraim Mwangi Kamakia, who died during last year’s Jamhuri Day celebrations in Nanyuki town.
Five candidates have expressed their interest including William Gitonga (JAP), Robert Murage (PNU), Robert Ruheni (DP), Regina Njeri (Chama Cha Mwangaza Daima) and independent candidate Joseph Gichuki.
The by-election has been sighted as a battle between Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri and former Industrialization assistant minister Nderitu Muriithi of PNU.
Both Muriithi and Kiunjuri are aspirants of Laikipia County gubernatorial seat in 2017 general elections having lost in 2013 elections where Governor Joshua Irungu floored them with 83,814 votes against Kiunjuri's 43,072 and Muriithi’s 19,178
Laikipia East MP Anthony Mutahi has lashed out at PNU party leader, Jeremiah Kioni who is also former Ndaragwa MP, for undermining President Uhuru Kenyatta by endorsing their candidate in the hotly contested race.
The by-election is seen as a two-horse race, since Kioni and Muriithi have been campaigning for the PNU candidate while Mutahi and Kiunjuri have been campaigning for the JAP candidate.
The Ward has about 12,300 registered voters.
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