Fierce Political Contests to Look Out For In UDA Nominations for North Rift

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The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) members will this Thursday, April 14, 2022, be going to the polls to elect candidates that will fly the party’s flag in the August 9 poll.

All eyes will be on the Rift Valley region, more so in the North Rift, home to Deputy President William Ruto, as the party primaries will be getting underway.

While the DP has tried to settle what would have been tough battles mostly in Mount Kenya and Nairobi, he has opted to steer clear of Rift Valley, and instead allow the people to decide on who they want.

DP Ruto when he brokered a deal to allow Sakaja to fly the UDA gubernatorial ticket in Nairobi and Bishop Margaret Wanjiru dropped to the Senate seat

We take a look at some of the hotly contested positions in Rift Valley that many will be keenly looking at how the nomination will end;

Uasin Gishu gubernatorial race

Seven candidates are eyeing the seat that will be vacated by Jackson Mandago who is serving his second term.

The Uasin Gishu gubernatorial race has been touted as a three-horse or maybe four-horse race, but in politics, anything can happen.

Uasin Gishu gubernatorial aspirants during a meeting in Eldoret on April 12, 2022, with UDA Uasin Gishu patron, coordinator, and Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi. Photo Source/The Star

Politician Jonathan Bii, Soy Member of Parliament Caleb Kositany, and Ambassadors Prof Julius Bitok and Sarah Serem are considered front runners in the race that has also attracted Ng’enyilel MCA David Sing’oei, former Nairobi County Devolution CECM Veska Kangogo and Solomon Kiptarbei, who has made a name campaigning on a bicycle.

Uasin Gishu Senatorial race

This is another contest where fireworks are expected. It is a battle of the ‘experienced versus inexperienced’ as Governor Mandago faces off with youthful lawyer Kipchumba Karori and broadcaster Robert Arap Kemei.

Broadcaster Robert Kemei who is eying the Uasin Gishu Senatorial seat on a UDA ticket

Arap Kemei finished second in the 2017 Jubilee party primaries behind Prof Margaret Kamar who has opted to seek re-election as an independent candidate.

Nandi Gubernatorial race

Here, it is a race pitting the incumbent against the former governor as Stephen Sang battles to retain his seat against Cleophas Lagat whom he beat in 2017.

Lagat recently teamed up with the Nandi County Assembly Speaker Joshua Kiptoo under the Nandi Kwanza Alliance which he hopes will help him clinch the UDA gubernatorial ticket.

Past photo of Governor Sang and former Governor Lagat

Allan Kosgey, son of former powerful minister Henry Kosgey is another formidable candidate in the Nandi gubernatorial race.

Elgeyo Marakwet gubernatorial race

With Eng Alex Tolgos not in the picture for the gubernatorial race, three contestants will be battling it out for the UDA ticket.

The current Deputy Governor Wesley Rotich has been touted as a front runner, based on the most recent opinion poll, but he is facing stiff competition from former Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet, and former The Eldoret National Polytechnic Chief Principal Josephat Sawe.

Former Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet

It will be a litmus test for UDA to hold a free and fair nomination – as it hopes to field strong candidates that will assure the party of a win in the main poll in August.

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