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PHOTOS: Voting in Juja, Bonchari by-elections underway

POLITICS
By Patrick Vidija | May 18th 2021

Voting is underway in the Juja and Bonchari parliamentary by-elections.

This comes as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission prepares to deliver results for three by-elections perceived to be an acid test for President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

A by-election is also happening in Rurii Ward in Nyandarua County where Jubilee is battling United Democratic Alliance (UDA).

A spot check in the two constituencies reveals that voters had lined up from as early as 5 am.

The electoral agency opened the polling stations some minutes after 7 am.

Voters queue to vote at Nyamiobo polling station where Jubilee Party's candidate Zebedeo Opore and ODM's Pavel Oimeke will be casting their votes later in the day.[Kevin Ogutu]

The two by-elections took a popularity contest with either party accusing the others of harassment and intimidation.

In Bonchari, the battle is pitting President Uhuru Kenyatta's Jubilee Party, Raila Odinga's ODM and DP William Ruto-linked UDA.

In Juja, Jubilee is facing off with Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria's Ndung'u Koimburi candidate running on the People's Empowerment Party.

Voters queue to vote at Nyamiobo polling station in Bonchari.[Kevin Ogutu]

The Juja parliamentary seat became vacant after MP Francis Waititu succumbed to brain cancer on February 22, 2021, at MP Shah Hospital.

Waititu was elected on a Jubilee ticket during the 2017 General Election. He garnered 66,190 votes.

According to IEBC, Juja constituency has 114,761 registered voters.

Residents of Juja Constituency in Kiambu ready to cast their votes.[Fidelis Kabunyi]

The 2017 General Election had an 80 per cent voter turn-out which saw 91,801 Kenyans casting their votes in the region.  

11 candidates were cleared to contest.

In Bonchari, the seat was left vacant following the death of MP Oroo Oyioka.

Residents of Juja Constituency in Kiambu ready to cast their votes.[Fidelis Kabunyi]

The ruling Jubilee Party, ODM, UDA and Maendeleo Chap Chap are among those that have fielded candidates in the by-election occasioned by the death of area MP John Oroo Oyioka.

UDA has party fronted Teresa Bitutu, the widow of the former MP, while Raila’s party has presented Pavel Oimeke and Jubilee one-time area MP Zebedeo John Opore.

The Gusii region has been known to see fringe parties triumph in elections as so-called big parties are left high and dry. 

Residents of Juja Constituency in Kiambu ready to cast their votes.[Fidelis Kabunyi]

Despite winning the Kisii gubernatorial, senatorial and woman rep seats, ODM emerged empty-handed in constituency seats with no parliamentary candidate in the area winning on the Orange ticket in 2017.

While ODM is seeking to consolidate its support in Kisii which is regarded as its base, Matiang’i is said to be keen on ensuring Jubilee Party wins to weigh his support in the area.

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