The Service Party (TSP) leader Mwangi Kiunjuri has won the Laikipia East parliamentary seat, becoming the first Kenya Kwanza coalition principal to clinch an elective seat.
Mr Kiunjuri trounced outgoing MP Amin Deddy by garnering 30,057 votes in the just concluded election. Mr Deddy, who contested on United Democratic Alliance (UDA), got 28,021.
Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Returning Officer Tabitha Gathoni issued a certificate to Mr Kiunjuri at Thingithu Secondary School tallying center.
"This is not only a victory for Laikipia East but for the entire Mt Kenya region. I want to assure the people of Mt Kenya that their interests would be well catered for in Parliament," Mr Kiunjuri said.
The former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary said his victory was meant to boost the popularity of TSP.
"This win has stamped the authority that TSP is the party to watch in this country. A party is recognised after clinching some elective seats. We are going far," Mr Kiunjuri said.
Mr Kiunjuri and Mr Deddy put up spirited campaigns, with each camp flexing its political muscles in a bid to outshine the other.
Mr Kiunjuri served as Laikipia East MP between 1997 and 2012.
In 2012, Mr Kiunjuri formed the Grand National Union (GNU) party and was its leader while the late Nderitu Gachagua was its secretary-general.
GNU, just like The National Alliance Party (TNA), Party of National Unity (PNU) and Alliance Party of Kenya (APK), supported Mr Uhuru Kenyatta for the presidency in the 2013 General Election.
In 2016, GNU merged with several other parties to form Jubilee and supported President Kenyatta’s re-election bid in the 2017 polls.
In the run-up to the 2017 polls, Mr Kiunjuri was eying the Laikipia's gubernatorial seat but shelved his interests after being asked by President Kenyatta to support former governor Joshua Irungu's re-election bid.
On February 16, 2020, Mr Kiunjuri accused the President of kicking him out of Cabinet despite his input in supporting his Jubilee Party in the 2017 General Election.
He further accused the Head of State of short-changing him even after agreeing to fold up his GNU party and supporting his presidential re-election bid.
Since then, Mr Kiunjuri focused in channeling his efforts towards popularising his party – TSP – ahead of the just concluded elections.
At one time, had been poised to be picked as Deputy President William Ruto’s running-mate.
But since that was not seemingly forthcoming, he embarked on a spirited campaign to reclaim the parliamentary seat he had previously held for 15 years.