The Jubilee Party lost an important parliamentary seat in Deputy President William Ruto’s backyard of Uasin Gishu County to an independent candidate that had initially lost in the party’s primaries.
William Chepkut kept a strong fight lasting over four months to oust outgoing Ainabkoi Member of Parliament (MP) Samuel Chepkong’a who also served as the chairperson of the Justice and Legal Committee in Parliament.
Chepkut garnered 23, 216 convincingly beating Chepkong’a who got 19, 140 votes to second place. Raymond Cherono who vied on a Kanu ticket came third with 190 votes while Wycliffe Mosi another independent candidate got 160 votes.
Selly Chesang the Constituency Returning Officer in Ainabkoi reported that 80 per cent of 54, 797 registered voters participated in the polls that happened on Tuesday.
“It was a good turnout so far and we expect that next time we will fill in the remaining 20 per cent to record a 100 per cent voter turnout,” said Chesang.
A calm Chepkut in Company of his supporters braved cold night at Rift Valley Technical Training Institute (RVTTI) until 12.30AM when the returning officer finally announced him as the winner and subsequently awarded him a certificate as proof of the victory.
An elated Chepkut lauded the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for conducting the polling exercise credibly and with transparency.
“It is a victory for me yes, but importantly it is a victory for the people of Ainabkoi. The electorate ensured that we get to this point of celebration and transforming this constituency despite the numerous hurdles we had along the way,” said Chepkut.
Chepkut emerged second in 2013 general elections when he vied for the seat on a National Vision Party (NVP) of the late former powerful Cabinet Minister Nicholas Biwott in a contest that Chepkong’a of the then United Republican Party (URP) won.
In April Chepkut had beaten Chepkong’a in the Jubilee Party Primaries by garnering 13, 685 votes against the latter’s 13, 556 but the outgoing MP filed a complaint at the party’s tribunal contesting the outcome citing irregularities in the voting exercise.
The tribunal ruled for a repeat of the voting at Munyaka Primary School Polling station that has about 7,000 registered voters and Chepkong’a won the contest recording 13, 819 votes against Chepkut’s 13, 729 and was awarded the party ticket.
Chepkut decried unfairness and lack of transparency in the primaries terming the results a sham and went ahead to secure an independent ticket.