Kenya: IEBC Clears Feisal Bader for Msambweni By-Election

16 October 2020

Deputy President William Ruto and Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga's camps have started gruelling campaigns as the electoral commission today concludes vetting Msambweni parliamentary by-election candidates.

Yesterday, the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC) cleared four Independents while seven party-sponsored aspirants will be vetted today.

Those cleared yesterday to vie in the December 15 vote were Feisal Bader, Sharlet Miriam, Mansury Kumaka and Charles Bilali.

"We are done with independent candidates and on Friday (today) we will finish with the rest," said Kwale election manager Nelly Ilongo.

Those expected today are Omar Boga (ODM), Khamisi Mwakaonje (United Green Movement), Marere Wamwachai (National Vision Party), Hassan Mwakulonda (Party of Economic Democracy) and Shee Abdulrahman (Wiper Party).

Bashiri Kilalo (Kadu-Asili), Peter Nzuki (Democratic Party) and Bakari Sebe withdrew their candidature in favour of Mr Bader following talks led by Dr Ruto in Nairobi on Monday.

Awaiting clearance

However, a list of aspirants by the IEBC still had their names among those awaiting clearance.

And as the official campaign period that ends on December 12 started yesterday, Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya campaigned for Mr Bader, who is backed by Deputy President William Ruto, who brokered a deal that saw three aspirants withdraw in his favour.

Speaking at Gazi, where the late MP Suleiman Dori (ODM) hailed from, Mr Mvurya asked voters not to be swayed by a political party wave.

"Don't look at those who will be carried by the party and at the end of the day you choose someone who will divide you. I know your son here (Feisal) did development projects with the late MP and he is ready to continue with that," Mr Mvurya said.

Mr Bader is Mr Dori's nephew and once worked as his personal assistant.

Supporters of Mr Bader had converged in Ukunda ready to escort him to IEBC offices in Msambweni.

But they were informed by police officers, who had mounted a road block, that only 11 supporters were allowed to accompany the candidate.

Stopped by police

Yesterday, Kwale ODM chairman Hassan Mwanyoha said they will present their candidate at the IEBC offices in Kwale at around 10 am.

"We will do our rally at Sawa Sawa ground after presenting our candidate. We are set to go," said Mr Mwanyoha.

Mr Mwanyoha hit back at Mr Mvurya, saying the right candidate for the people is "none-other than Boga, because he belongs to the people."

Jubilee declined to field a candidate and backed the ODM's, citing President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga's handshake.

Dr Ruto who was present when Jubilee secretary-general Raphael Tuju made the announcement at the party headquarters grudgingly accepted the decision. A day later he paraded Mr Bader accompanied by some Coast MPs.

Last Friday Mr Bader was accompanied by Dr Ruto's allies Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungwa as well as former senators Johnson Muthama, Hassan Omar, and Boni Khalwale for a rally that was stopped by police officers.

He is supported by MPs Khatib Mwashetani (Jubilee) and Benjamin Tayari (ODM).

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