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Five cleared in contest to replace Kindiki as Senate Deputy Speaker

Five Senators have been cleared to contest for the Senate Deputy Speaker position after the seat fell vacant following the acrimonious ouster of Tharaka Nithi Senator Prof Kithure Kindiki.

Six Senators had expressed interest to vie for the position but only five were cleared by Friday 3pm.

The Office of Senate Clerk Jeremiah Nyegenye said only five candidates who had expressed interest complied with the eligibility requirements.

According to the Senate Standing Orders, the members were required to submit their nomination papers accompanied by the names and signatures of two Senators who support their candidature and a declaration by them that the candidate is qualified to be elected as a Member of Parliament.

Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga failed to present her nomination papers and was subsequently dropped out of the race.

The five candidates cleared for the election set for Tuesday are: Kirinyaga Senator Charles Kibiru, Uasin Gishu’s Margaret Kamar, Kilifi’s Stewart Madzayo, Isaac Mwaura (Nominated) and Judith Pareno (Nominated).

The race has generated intense lobbying with Senator Kamar (Jubilee party) and Madzayo (ODM) touted as the frontrunners putting to test the March 2018 truce and resultant political cooperation between President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

The election will be conducted in the Senate chamber with all the members expected to vote through secret ballot

For one to clinch the plum position in the first round, a contender must garner at least two thirds of the votes cast, that is 45 out of the 67 votes.

If none of the five candidates emerges as an outright winner in the first round, the top two contenders will square it out in the second round of voting with the winner requiring a simple majority to emerge a victor.

Kindiki, an ally of Deputy President William Ruto was ousted last week by 54 Senators after he was accused of being disloyal to the Jubilee party.

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