By Victoria Magar
Polls opened early Thursday in Kiambaa MP and Muguga Ward MCA races in Kiambu County.
Eight parliamentary candidates fight to replace Paul Koinange who died in March. But the race has narrowed to a fierce contest between the Jubilee Party and the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) that is linked to Deputy President William Ruto.
Tuesday, the rival campaign teams traded accusations of vote rigging, without providing evidence, raising tensions around an election that is viewed as the first direct conflict between President Kenyatta, who met the Jubilee candidates in State House last week, and his rebel deputy.
The outcome of the two by-elections is a litmus test, not only for Jubilee, which is keen to fight off the perception the President’s lawn has rebelled.