By Abdikadir Sugow
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has gazetted the final list of constituencies and electoral wards to be contested in the upcoming General Election, with the region getting seven more to a total 18 parliamentary seats, up from 11.
A landmark ruling by a five-judge bench special court appointed by the Chief Justice Willy Mutunga on cases filed by those who felt aggrieved or feared they would not be effectively represented in the new units sets the stage for titanic political battles in Kenya’s 290 constituencies and 1,450 county wards. Former and current NEP MPs and new aspirants from the three counties have retreated to their bases in readiness for the political battles.
In Garissa County, the province’s political and economic powerhouse, former MPs Ibrahim Mohamed Salat, Mohamed Muktar Shiddiye, Elias Bare Shill and Mohamed Dahir Weirah are entering the political limelight.
Salat and Shiddiye – a former Deputy Kanu Chief Whip, are widely believed to be gunning as frontrunners for Mbalambala and Dadaab parliamentary seats respectively. The two constituencies were carved from the Dujis and Lagdera boundaries.
Former Fafi MP Shill is making a third attempt in a bid to dislodge the sitting MP, Assistant Minister Aden Sugow – and the two are consolidating their networks on the ground.
Weirah of Ijara constituency will battle it out with Nominated MP Sofia Abdi Noor. Sofia is well known for championing women’s rights. The other aspirants for the seat are Ahmed Ibrahim Abass and Ahmed Duale Ahmed.