UDA picks Paul Suter to contest in Sambirir Ward after Mark Bowen's death

Paul Suter at the burial of Mark Bowen at Sosiot-Chepkanga in Uasin Gishu County on Friday May 20, 2022. The former MCA was given a direct ticket by UDA to contest for the  Sambirir Ward of Elgeyo Marakwet County following Mr Bowen's death.



Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) has handed a direct nomination to former Sambirir Ward Rep Paul Suter to contest the seat in the August 9 General Election.

 This follows the death of the first nominee Mark Bowen, who had won in primaries on April 14. He was buried on Friday at his Chepkanga home in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County.

 The late Bowen was found lying unconscious on the Eldoret-Malaba road in the wee hours of Saturday, May 7. He was rushed to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret where he died. He had injuries on his head and a broken leg.

 Mr Suter, popularly known as a Chemuruyo, contested in the UDA nominations and emerged third after the incumbent MCA Nathan Chelanga in a race that attracted 12 contestants.

 He was the Elgeyo Marakwet County Assembly deputy Speaker between 2013 and 2017, but was trounced in the Jubilee primaries by the incumbent.

 After losing in the UDA nominations, Mr Chelanga ditched the party and announced he would run as an independent candidate. He will now battle it out with Mr Suter.

 The UDA National Elections Board (NEB) said the decision to award Mr Suter a direct ticket came after party leaders reached a consensus.

 “Our party regrets the loss of our candidate Mark Bowen, Sambirir Ward, Marakwet East Constituency, Elgeyo Marakwet County, and the party is now obligated to do a replacement,” read a statement released by NEB chairman Anthony Mwaura.

 He cited the Political Parties Act No. 11 of 2011, which allows parties to use direct and indirect nominations. He said considering the strict Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) timelines, the party has resorted to direct nominations but will be guided by the results of the UDA nominations conducted on April 14, 2022.

 “The party, due to circumstances, nominated Mr Suter as the UDA candidate to contest in Sambirir Ward, Marakwet East Constituency, Elgeyo Marakwet County,” said Mr Mwaura.

The party once again expressed condolences to Bowen’s family and the people of Sambirir.

 The police are still investigating how the politician died.

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