Kenya: We Are Yet to Endorse 2017 Candidate for Isiolo Governor, Somali Elders Say

The chairman of the Somali Council of Elders Mohamed Ismael (right) and Vice-Chairman Sharrif Abdikadir (left) during a press conference on August 28, 2016 in Isiolo Town. The elders said they were yet to endorse a candidate for the Isiolo governor's seat in the 2017 elections. PHOTO | VIVIAN JEBET | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Elders from the Somali community in Isiolo County are yet to endorse a gubernatorial candidate, their council announced Saturday dismissing reports that they had already singled out their preferred candidate.

The elders distanced themselves from claims that they will support Mr Abdul Bahari for the governor’s position in 2017.

Speaking during a press conference in Isiolo, they accused one of the elders of declaring in public that the community would back Mr Bahari for the governor’s seat, during a political forum held in Kinna earlier in the month.

“We wish to state that our community has not pledged any support nor entered [into] any political [agreement] with any gubernatorial aspirant,” said Mr Mohamed Ismael, the chairman of the Somali Council of Elders.


Mr Ismael stated that they will only support aspirants approved by the council before the next polls.

In Isiolo, clan and community endorsement play a major role in ensuring that a candidate gets initial nomination.

However, they revealed that they will not support Isiolo Deputy Governor Mohamed Guleid in his ambition to clinch the governor’s seat.

The elders said Mr Guleid was given the responsibility for one term and failed to represent the community ‘well’, adding that the Somali’s were interested in the Isiolo North parliamentary seat, currently held by Mr Joseph Samal.

The elders also warned their community members against issuing statements that would contradict their common position regarding the county’s politics.

“We supported some people in the previous polls and they are still serving in the current county government which has one year to complete its term,” added the council’s vice-chairman Sharrif Abdikadir.

According to the elders, no gubernatorial aspirant has asked for their support.

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