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New party wins seats in parliament

[Kenya] President Mwai Kibaki announcing the dismissal of his entire cabinet. [Date picture taken: 11/23/2005]
President Mwai Kibaki. (State House, Nairobi)

A political party founded two months ago by politicians allied to Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki on Tuesday won three out of five parliamentary seats after a by-election called following the deaths of five MPs in a plane crash in April.

Results released by the electoral commission a day after the by-election on Monday showed that candidates of the National Rainbow Coalition-Kenya (NARC-Kenya) had won the Nakuru Town constituency seat in the Rift Valley Province and two other seats in the northern Marsabit district.

The Kenya African National Union (KANU), the former ruling party, which held four of the seats before the previous incumbents died near Marsabit town on 10 April, retained two of the seats in Marsabit and and Moyale districts.

NARC-Kenya was launched on 3 June apparently to accommodate Kibaki's allies, who were virtually left without a political party after the split of the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC), an alliance of parties that brought the incumbent president to power in 2002.

The original NARC is moribund after the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), a key member of the alliance, went into opposition following incessant wrangling over government positions. The LDP was also instrumental in having a government-backed draft constitution rejected in a referendum in November 2005. Kibaki sacked key LDP figures from the cabinet following the government's defeat in the referendum.

Kibaki had at the weekend campaigned for NARC-Kenya's MP-elect for Nakuru Town, William Kariuki Mirugi. The 27-year-old William is the son of Mirugi Kariuki, the junior minister killed in the crash. Commentators have said Kibaki's campaigning for the NARC-Kenya candidate had given an indication of where his political interests lay. The president might choose to run on a NARC-Kenya ticket if he decides to seek a second term in presidential elections due in December 2007, they added.

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This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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