Abong’o Malik Obama wants to have a career in politics like his half-brother, President Barack Obama. However, hours after the polls closed in Kenya’s elections last night, Mr. Obama said he wasn’t sure whether his bid to be governor of Siaya County was a success and he is concerned the election results may have been tampered with. He’s also extremely angry about tabloid coverage of his campaign. “It’s impossible to tell at this time, the whole system crashed,” Mr. Obama told Politicker when we called him Tuesday morning to inquire about the election. “We have no idea, it’s still hanging out there, and I myself am extremely disappointed and there is a high risk that the results may be manipulated.” Yesterday’s elections are the first under the 2010 Constitution of Kenya, which was ratified after the 2007 election ended with widespread violence and a disputed result. Though the voting yesterday proceeded largely without violence, there were reports of technical problems at many polling places. Mr. Obama said he stayed up late into the night and was given no information about the election result from officials. “I was sitting out there at the tallying center for the county up until almost 1 o’clock last night and there’s a complete blackout,” he explained.
The new constitution divided Kenya into 47 counties including Siaya, which contains more than 800,000 residents and the hometown of the president’s father, Barack Obama Sr. Mr. Obama is the first child of the elder Barack Obama. He was born three years prior to his presidential sibling, who has a different mother. Mr. Obama operates a charity called the Barack H. Obama Foundation, which, according to its website, “is entirely the idea of Abon’go Malik Obama, in memory of their father, and is not dependent on the endorsement of his brother, President Barack Obama.”
As of this writing, the website of Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, which is overseeing the election, shows Uhuru Kenyatta with a lead in Kenya’s presidential race. Mr. Kenyatta and his running mate are two of the four people who have been charged by the International Criminal Court with “crimes against humanity” for allegedly orchestrating the violence after the last elections that left over 1,000 people dead. The United States and other Western nations have promised unspecified “consequences” if Mr. Kenyatta emerges victorious.
Though the IEBC site is showing results for the presidential election, it does not display results for other local offices including Mr. Obama’s governor’s race in Siaya. The IEBC did not pick up their “election hotline” when we called to inquire about the results. Mr. Obama is running as an independent candidate, a situation he said has left him with a tougher path to victory.