Former Garissa Deputy Speaker Abubakar Mohamed Shide has won the Masalani Ward seat in by-election that involved behind the scenes powerful political leaders in the county.
Ijara IEBC Returning Officer Farah Abdi Ibrahim declared Mr Shide winner, having garnered 2,922 votes against his close rival, Mr Suleiman Abdullahi, Muktar who managed to get 2,870 votes.
The November 7 by-election was held following the death of ANC candidate Ibrahim Abdullahi in a road accident 33 days to August 8 elections.
Senior IEBC officials including Commissioner Abdi Guliye and Acting CEO Hussein Marjan were overseeing the ward election.
Speaking after the announcement of the results, Commissioner Guliye said the winner has a huge responsibility to bring together all residents, saying the elections have divided people a lot.
While referring to incidents where an elder was stabbed and seriously injured during the election Prof Guliye said political competition should not be divisive but for development.
"It is unfortunate and embarrassing [for people to fight] because of an MCA seat. This shows how the seat was hotly contested and as a result people were so divided and the winner should work extra hard to bring [them] together," he said.
The ward by-election was a close competition with Ijara MP Sophia Abdinoor and her close political rival, Ahmed Ibrahim Abass, who is the Garissa County Assembly Speaker, trying to test their influence in the constituency.
The constituency is regarded as swing vote area and therefore the ward by-election attracted senior politicians in the county with Deputy Governor Abdi Dagane being the face of Mr Shide’s campaigns.