True democracy triumphs over negotiated democracy in northern Kenya

In late 2016, the Garre Council of Elders introduced a model of rotational leadership that blocks sub-clans within the community from holding one political seat for more than a single term.

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In Northern Kenya, council of elders have huge influence on who runs and even get elected in the region, their word is final and all who defy their directive are promised doom.

Among those barred from defending their seat was Mandera Governor, Ali Roba and about six other MPs from Mandera.

However together with six MPs bared by the elders, Roba vowed to defy the directive and went ahead to defend his seat during the 2017 General Election instead of stepping down.

Many advised him to heed the elders and some even predicted a landslide defeat should he defend his seat.

However, as things seem now it seems true democracy has triumphed over negotiated democracy.

More precisely, the youthful governor may just survive the wrath of the elders.

According to IEBC provincial results, Roba who is running on a Jubilee ticket has garnered 66219 (53.55%) compared to Hassan Noor, who was handpicked by the elders and running under the Economic Front Party who has 57533 (46.45%).

At the time of going to press, 363 out of 401 polling stations had already relayed their results to the national tallying center at Bomas of Kenya.

123852 valid votes have so far been counted, 1771 rejected and 8 disputed.

Ironically it is the same club of elders who handpicked a novice Roba in 2013 to vie as Mandera governor and through their blessings easily clinched the seat.

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