|ODM won the majority civic seats for a single party but PNU and its affiliate parties also faired well in Wednesday’s by-elections.
ODM bagged 22 of the 50 civic seats which were up for grabs to emerge the single largest winner while its grand coalition Government partner cum-rival PNU got nine.
At the same time, the Electoral Commission of Kenya has admitted that the parliamentary by-elections in Embakasi, Kilgoris and Emuhaya were marred by claims of voter bribery and in some instances violence.
ODM, which controls the highest number of civic and parliamentary seats in the country, scooped three of the five parliamentary seats in the by-elections.
ECK chairman Samuel Kivuitu said in a statement yesterday that Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka’s ODM-Kenya got three seats in its Lower Eastern stronghold.
Musikari Kombo’s Ford-Kenya rejuvenated itself by winning two seats as was the UDM which has only one MP in Parliament Youth and Sports minister Hellen Sambili. Ford-K won one of its seats in Tunyai, Tharaka in Eastern Province and the other in Makanini, Kinango constituency.
Pius Muiru’s former party, Republican Alliance Party of Kenya, Koigi wa Wamwere’s Chama Cha Mwananchi, Uhuru Kenyatta’s Kanu and 11 other small parties that took part in the polls got a seat each.
By-elections were however not held in Makongeni ward in Rongai and Kalaliyo in Mandera Central due to court cases.
The civic elections followed the deaths of elected councillors or nominated candidates before the 2007 General Election.
PNU kept its torch burning in Western Province by bagging the Ingotse seat, while UDM made inroads in Maasailand by winning Njipiship and Moyoi wards in Kilgoris. PNU candidate was also unopposed in Sikawa, Kilgoris.
Voter turn out
Although Mr Kivuitu said ECK was impressed by peaceful elections in most places, it had received reports of voter bribery and violence in Embakasi, Kilgoris and Emuhaya “and immediately raised the matter with the police who assured us they would arrest the perpetrators.”
Kilgoris led in voter turn-out, with 62,341 voters (85.3 per cent) out of 73,315 registered voters participating while Embakasi had the lowest turn out with only 26.7 per cent (67,342) casting their vote.
Embakasi has the highest number of registered voters in the country (249,970).
The low turn-out, Mr Kivuitu said, was as a result of some employers denying workers time off to go and vote and heavy rains in the case of Ainamoi.
Of the 36 women candidates who vied for civic wards, two won, Mr Kivuitu said while all five women who contested for parliamentary seats lost.