Tight race as heavyweights battle newcomers in Western region

DAP-K headquarters, Nairobi. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The General Election was poised to pull some surprises in Western Kenya as political heavyweights battled newcomers to retain their seats.

The major contest was between the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) of Raila Odinga, Ford-Kenya of Moses Wetangula, Amani National Congress (ANC) of Musalia Mudavadi and Democratic Action Party (DAP K) of Wafula Wamunyinyi.

DAP-K is an offshoot of FORD-K that entered the political arena mid last year following internal FORD-K wrangles. This was after a coup that was plotted to unseat Wetang'ula as the party leader hit a dead end. By the time of going to press last evening provisional results showed Dick Maungu (DAP-K) had garnered 9,729 votes against current Luanda MP Chris Omulele (ODM) who had 7,579 votes.

In Shinyalu, Fred Ikana (ANC) was leading with 8,700 votes, ahead of incumbent Justus Kizito's (DAP-K) 1,800. Kizito decamped from ODM to DAP-K, all under Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance during party nominations. ODM's Silverse Anami, a former MP had garnered 4,800 votes with results from 74 polling stations out of 153 already counted.

Malulu Injendi (ANC) the current Malava MP was leading with 23,000 votes followed by newcomer Seth Panyako of UDA who had 19,020 votes by the time of going to press. Political realignments saw ANC MPs Peter Nabulindo (Matungu), Aseka Christopher (Khwisero), Tindi Mwale) (Butere), Titus Khamala (Lurambi), Emmanuel Wangwe (Navakholo) and Bernard Shinali (Ikolomani) decamp from ANC to join ODM.

All the MPs appeared to be on course to retain their seats under the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance. Tindi Mwale (ODM) had 23,898 votes while Habil Nanjendo of ANC had 12,497. It is the second time the two political arch rivals are battling it out for the Butere Parliamentary seat.

In Teso South, outgoing MP Geoffrey Omuse, an independent candidate, was ahead of outgoing Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong who, having served the maximum two terms as governor, was gunning for the MP seat. Omusee had 9,200 votes against Ojaamong's 6,170 according to provisional results.

John Makali (Ford-K) was leading Wafula Wamunyinyi (DAP-K) by a margin that places him safely in the lead. Mr Makali had garnered 15,400 votes against Wamunyinyi's 8,000.

Dr Enoch Kibunguchy, incumbent MP of Likuyani Constituency was said to trailing Innocent Mugabe (ODM).

Nabii Nabwera, former Personal Assistant to outgoing Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya was also in the lead for Lugari Constituency seat that was vacated by Ayub Savula who is the running mate of Fernandes Barasa, Azimio la Umoja gubernatorial candidate for Kakamega.