Chepkwony weathers storm to stay ahead in polls

Wednesday August 9 2017

Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony

Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony addressing members of the County Public Accounts and Investment Committee on May 18, 2017. He is leading in his re-election campaign. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

By ANITA CHEPKOECH
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Kericho's incumbent governor has gained renewed legitimacy if the election results are anything to go by.

Prof Paul Chepkwony, who once survived an impeachment instigated by the county assembly, is ahead of his rival with 275,647 votes (95 per cent).

Mr Jonah Keter of Kanu has 13,852 votes.

IMPEACH

During the impeachment bid on May 2014, he said he was shocked that 32 MCAs voted to remove him from office while 15 others, who were against his removal, skipped the voting session.

Fortunately, he was saved by the Senate, and it seems it has not done much to dent his re-election.

JUBILEE

Prof Chepkwony and incumbent Senator Aaron Cheruiyot were on Wednesday evening preparing to toast champagnes.

Mr Cheruiyot is leading with 267,424 votes (92 per cent); his closest challenger is Mr Isaac Biegon (ODM) who has 9,157 votes.

BY-ELECTION

The Jubilee Party duo, who barely campaigned in the run-up to Tuesday’s polls, had a walkover on their competitors who were fairly new.

Mr Cheruiyot was elected on March 2016 after a hotly contested by-election following the appointment of Mr Charles Keter as Energy Cabinet secretary.

He trounced his three challengers to garner 266,737 votes (92.34 per cent).

DEFEAT

Worth noting is the outcome of four parliamentary races in the county in which Jubilee candidates faced stiff competition from their independent counterparts (who are all outgoing MPs).

In Soin/Sigowett, Mr Kipsengeret Koros (independent) sits comfortably at the front with 19,322 votes (52 per cent) against incumbent Justice Kemei who has 11,949 votes.

Mr Kemei of Jubilee Party has already conceded defeat.

"Since the people of Soin/Sigowett have spoken, I accept the results and wish the incoming MP success and offer my support," Mr Kemei said.

AINAMOI
However, three independents, who are incumbents, are not lucky.

In Ainamoi, Mr Benjamin Langat has 19,872 votes against Mr Sylvanus Maritim's (Jubilee) 32,352 votes.

In Belgut, Mr Eric Keter has 17,581 votes (33pc) while Jubilee's Nelson Koech has garnered 33,527 votes.

DP RUTO

The same is being reflected in Kipkelion West.

The incumbent, Mr Jackson Rop, has 13,261 votes while Mr Hilary Kosgey of Jubilee has 23,973 votes.

JOBS

During campaigns, Deputy President William Ruto had appealed to Mr Langat and other independent candidates in vain to drop their quests in favour of Jubilee candidates, promising to appoint them to government positions.

It remains to be seen whether they still stand a chance after defying the plea.