Amason Kingi elected Speaker of the Senate

Former Governor of Kilifi County Amason Kingi. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

Former Governor of Kilifi County Amason Kingi has been elected the Speaker of the Senate.

On Thursday, September 8, Kingi got 46 out of the maximum 67 votes to be declared the winner in a first-round victory.

The ex-county chief had been fronted by Kenya Kwanza Coalition, which is headed by President-elect William Ruto.

Kingi needed at least 45 votes (what is known as absolute majority or two-thirds majority) to be declared the winner in the first round of voting.

He defeated five other candidates. They are Isaac Aluochier, George Bush, Fredrick Karuri, Beatrice Kinyua and George Kuria.

Kingi, 48, will serve as the third Speaker of the Senate under the 2010 Constitution.

The previous speakers are Ekwee Ethuro (2013-2017) and Kenneth Lusaka (2017-2022).

Earlier Thursday, Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, who had submitted his candidature for Senate Speaker seat, withdrew from the race over reasons yet to be established.

Musyoka had been fronted by the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Coalition, headed by Raila Odinga.

Clerk of the Senate Jeremiah Nyegenye told the newly sworn-in senators that Musyoka, in a letter under the reference code WDM/SEN/GC/22, dated September 8, 2022, and addressed to his office, revealed his decision to withdraw from the race.

After the announcement of Musyoka's withdrawal, Azimio-allied senators staged a walkout from the chambers, claiming some of the remaining candidates had integrity issues.

Kingi, who served as Kilifi governor between 2013 and 2022, took an oath of office as Speaker of the Senate at 1:36pm on Thursday, September 8.

"In embracing the spirit of devolution, I am delighted by the rich blend of membership of the 4th Senate drawn from former members of the National Assembly, governors and members of the county assemblies. I am looking forward to working with all of you," he said in his opening speech.