|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.
The party recaptured the Ainamoi seat, which fell vacant following the killing of MP David Kimutai Too, after a tough contest with UDM — which is friendly to the Raila Odinga-led party.
Mr Benjamin Lang’at, a brother of Mr Too, garnered 17,532 votes against Dr Paul Chepkwony of UDM, who got 15,689.
ODM also retained the Emuhaya seat, which fell vacant after Mr Kenneth Marende was elected Speaker of the National Assembly.
Dr Wilbur Ottichilo of ODM won after bagging 10,947 votes against his closest rival, Mr Sikalo Ochiel of Kaddu, who had 8,488 votes.
In Wajir North where results were cancelled after two candidates tied in last year’s General Election, Mr Mohamed Gabow of ODM emerged victor with 5,759 votes against his sole challenger, Dr Ali Ibrahim of Kanu, who garnered 4,759 votes.
However, ODM failed to recapture the Embakasi seat, which fell vacant after the killing of MP Melitus Mugabe Were in January.
Former Nairobi deputy mayor, Ferdinand Waititu of PNU clinched the seat after garnering 36,536 votes to beat ODM’s Esther Muthoni Passaris who got 27,339 votes.
ODM was also shown the dust in Kilgoris where former Cabinet minister Gideon Konchellah recaptured the seat on a PNU ticket.
Mr Konchellah got 33,440 votes with his main challenger, Mr Jonah Ng’eno of ODM, getting 26,088 votes.
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.
The by-elections ended the fierce campaigns that had threatened the survival of the grand coalition government.
Thursday, President Kibaki congratulated the winners, saying their victory was a clear demonstration of the confidence the electorate had in their personal leadership as well as vision for their constituencies and the country at large.
“The electorate has high expectations on you to deliver on your pledges,” the President told the MPs through the PPS.
In the Kilgoris elections, which were marked by tension between members of two communities, violence erupted moments before the results were announced.
Arsonists torched 14 houses and a pick-up at Eldonyo Onkopit Village, three kilometres from Kilgoris Town.
A land dispute
Although area head of police Joshua Omukata described the incident as a land dispute, the victims said it was political.
In Ainamoi, supporters of Mr Lang’at celebrated after the returning officer announced the results.
In Embakasi, Mr Waititu criss-crossed the constituency thanking voters after he was declared the winner.
However, Ms Passaris and Mr Ochiel of Emuhaya rejected the results, saying they were inflated in favour of their opponents and cited “numerous anomalies”.
Reported by Lucas Barasa, Muchemi Wachira, Jackline Moraa, Samwel Kumba, Oliver Mathenge, Patrick Mayoyo, Walter Menya, Sollo Kiragu and Cosmas Butunyi.