Latest Update on Kenya Elections: Odinga’s Party Wins 3 Seats of 5; UPDATED 2X (Just Say No Deal)

FINAL ELECTION UDPATE: JUNE 13

The Daily Nation reports that:

ODM scooped three parliamentary seats as its main rival and grand coalition partner PNU snatched two in the Wednesday by-elections marred by violence and claims of rigging in some areas.

(SNIP)

The win increased ODM’s strength in Parliament to 103 and PNU’s to 48. ODM also suffered a major setback on Tuesday following the deaths of Bomet and Sotik MPs in a plane crash.

Now only Nairobi’s Kamukunji constituency is unrepresented in Parliament since last December’s General Election due to a court case.

It was on Tuesday joined by Sotik and Bomet following the deaths of Ms Lorna Laboso and Mr Kipkalya Kones respectively.

What it boils down to is that 3 seats remain empty, with 2 of them resulting from the deaths of two members from Odinga’s ODM. (I’m not sure which party the seat involved in the court case belongs to.)

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Kenya Elections Held Today (June 11) After All…With Fears of Ethnic Violence (5pm EDT Update) (Just Say No Deal)

I hope they run elections better than they write news stories in Kenya…It seems the crucial by-elections for 5 parliamentary seats has been going on today after all! Turnout in the morning was low, which is not unusual for a by-election.

(See my previous post for background: In Kenya, Struggle for Parliament is Happening Now–Odinga’s Party Issues Warning (Sounds Like Cousin Obama)

Raila Odinga’s party hopes to retain 3 of the 5 seats. If the party loses their parliamentary majority, Odinga’s position in the coalition government becomes uncertain. BBC News reports:

“The numbers are very tight in terms of who controls parliament. With the death of the minister and the assistant minister now the ODM has 100 MPs and the PNU coalition has 102 MPs,” says analyst Kwamchetsi Makokha.

The BBC’s correspondent describes the coalition as already being “decidedly fragile.”

There have already been reports of hate leaflets being distributed in one area, which raises fears of renewed ethnic violence and post-election violence.

The big question is, of course, whether the “Grand Coalition” survives and what Odinga’s moves will be…

Note: Here is a link to the story from Kenya in the Daily Nation…

Polls open in fight for Kenya’s parliamentary majority

In Kenya, Struggle for Parliament is Happening Now–Odinga’s Party Issues Warning (Sounds Like Cousin Obama)

UPDATE, 5 pm MDT: The election seems to be on NEXT Wednesday, June 18. The writing in some of these stories from the foreign press is sometimes difficult to follow. I happened to come across a story from The Daily Nation in Kenya, dated June 11, which says the ballots are safely “sleeping” in the voting districts while awaiting the election. So, from that, I gather that the election will be NEXT Wednesday! Sorry for the confusion! I’ll keep track of developments over the next week…and especially those “sleeping” ballots!

NOTE: The election DID happen on June 11. See later posts on the results. GRL)

Five seats in Parliament are up for grabs in Kenya’s by-elections being held today (Wednesday, June 11. As reported by Afrol News:

KENYA SET FOR CRUCIAL BY-ELECTIONS

afrol News, 10 June Kenyans will once again return to the polls on Wednesday to elect five members of parliament in what has been dubbed crucial by-elections.

The elections will allow the Grand Coalition partners – Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and Party of National Unity (PNU) – to battle control over parliament.

Bi-elections will also be held in 52 civic awards whose results had been challenged. The deadline for all political campaigns expired on Monday.

A dispute over Kenya’s presidential election results in December soon snowballed into “ethnic cleansing” that claimed several lives, including two elected MPs in Embakasi and Ainamoi, Melitus Were and David Too. Both MPs were shot dead at the height of the political violence.

Due to the violence that claimed over 1,000 lives and displaced tens of thousands, results of some constituencies could not be announced.

The upcoming elections have already taken tribal connotation, with some tribes rejecting nominated candidates in areas they considered their ancestral land. For instance, the nomination of ODM’s Jonathan Ngéno, who hailed from the Kipsigis community, had forced the Maasais to rally behind the PNU sponsored candidate, Gideon Konchella.

The ugly scenario is a complete deviation from Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s belief that “I want to see a Kenya where people are not judged on their tribal affiliations but on the content of their character.”

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