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Deputy speaker joins race for senator seat

By Boniface Ongeri | Published Wed, October 3rd 2012 at 00:00, Updated October 2nd 2012 at 22:50 GMT +3

By Boniface Ongeri

Deputy Speaker and Lagdera MP Farah Maalim was cleared to run for Senate in Garissa County, setting off a bruising political battle with Defence Minister and Ijara MP, Yusuf Haji.

Mr Maalim was endorsed by his dominant Auliyan clan barely a week after members of the Abdalla clan endorsed Haji for the same seat.

The two politicians’ clans had on several occasions attempted to come up with one candidate, but could not reach an agreement.

In a clan caucus at a Garissa hotel, the elders told Maalim not to step down in favour of Haji. Maalim said he was best suited to unite the county.

“A county with diverse clans like Garissa needs to be careful when electing leaders to avoid falling into anarchy and inter-clan conflicts,” Maalim said.

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He said he will vie for the seat on an ODM ticket, adding that the experience he had as an MP would be crucial in leading the county to new heights.

During his endorsement last week, Haji said his experience in administration was needed for the growth of the county.

He said he will be vying for the seat on a TNA ticket.

Maalim promised to roll out his campaign in the entire Garissa County in the next few weeks to solicit enough votes to win the seat.

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