By-Elections in 2006

 Nakuru Town, Saku, Laisamis, North Horr and Moyale Constituencies by-elections

 

The other five by-elections were occasioned by the death of 6 Members of Parliament (MPs) including a Member of the East African Legislative Assembly, Hon. Abdullahi Aden on 10th April 2006 in a plane crash in Marsabit. The deceased Members of Parliament were on a peacekeeping mission to the troubled Northern Kenya.

 

The MPs included Hon. Bonaya Godana MP North Horr Constituency and Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition; Hon. Guracha Galgalo MP Moyale Constituency and Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Health, Housing and Social Welfare; Hon. Mirugi Kariuki MP Nakuru Town Constituency and Assistant Minister in the Office of the President in charge of Internal Security; Hon. Titus Ngoyoni MP Laisamis Constituency and Assistant Minister Regional Development Authority; and, Hon. Abdi Sasura MP Saku Constituency.

 

The by-elections occurred under political environment:

First, the by-elections will take place within a period of about seventeen months to the next general elections in 2007. In this regard, the by-elections will be critical as a platform for political parties to showcase their respective political strengths and the nature of political realignment expected in the 2007 general elections.

The emergent politics of coalition, that is to say, the degree of paradigm shift from single party to coalitions as a strategy for capturing political power will be tested. Specifically, the by-election provided an opportunity to gauge the political weight and impact of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). In the Referendum, LDP formed a coalition with KANU known as the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and campaigned against the adoption of the New Proposed Constitution.

The by-elections are took place at a time when various political parties, which formed the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) party, indicated that they are no longer interested in the coalition. Furthermore, the by elections will serve as a litmus test for the splinter and newly formed NARC Kenya party which is dominated largely by a section of Members of Parliament allied to and loyal to President Kibaki.

Fourthly, political balkanization and zonation has been a feature in the political environment in Kenya for a long time. In this regard, the Northern parts of Kenya where four of the by-elections are expected have been dominated by KANU. (This part of the country for a long time has been referred to as KANU zones). Observing the by-elections provided an opportunity to analyse whether KANU which is now in the opposition still maintains a political clout in the region.

It will be important to observe the role clannism and political inheritance by family members will play in the by-elections. Endorsement of candidates by clan elders and family members has been a trend which has characterized the by-elections after the 2002 general elections. Although this is a trend that impinges upon the growth of competitive and participatory democratic elections, it is steadily emerging as a factor in by-elections. It will therefore be crucial to observe the role and impact of clan elders and family members in the by-elections.

 

Kasipul Kabondo Constituency

The by-election arose as a result of the death of the immediate former Member of Parliament (MP), Hon. Peter Owidi on Thursday, 24th November 2005.

The by-election occurred under a confused political environment

The by-election occurred at a time when constituent various political parties, which are partners in the ruling National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) party, had indicated that they were no longer interested in the coalition.

The by-election provided an opportunity to for Democratic Party and the Liberal Democratic Party to gauge their political weights and the impact of the participating NARC constituent political parties.

The by-election occurred 4 months after the Referendum thus was a platform for assess and determine the role and impact of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) as a coalition in the build up to the 2007 General Elections.

Finally, the by-election like any other previous by-election was a testing ground as to whether existing political culture and behaviour, including clannism are factors that influence the by-election results rather than the integrity and competence of the contesting candidates.