Ahmed Kolosh wins Wajir West by-election amid voter apathy

Kenya’s election commission has declared Ahmed Kolosh the winner of Thursday’s by-election in Wajir West constituency in the country’s northeastern region.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) said Kolosh received 11,053 votes out of possible 27,544 with his rival Ibrahim Sheikh getting 6,532.

The commission said voter turnout was at 63.92 percent.

Mr Sheikh conceded defeat and promised to work with the winner for the benefit of residents.

Forty-seven votes were rejected while some voters gave their votes to candidates who had already withdrawn from the race.

The by-election followed the nullification by the country’s Supreme Court of former legislator Kolosh’s win in the 2017 general election .

Before losing the seat, Kolosh was a member of the Orange Democratic Movement but defected to Jubilee after the nullification by the Supreme Court.

Mohamed Yusuf Elmi, who was flying the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party ticket, withdrew his candidature in support of Kolosh.

The constituency, like most other parts of the region, suffers from chronic food insecurity and high unemployment rates, among many other challenges.

Wajir West constituency was established for the 1966 elections. The constituency is predominantly inhabited by Somalis, with the Ajuran and Matan sub clans well-represented.