Upset in Kenyan primaries

2007-11-18 16:28

Nairobi - Former interior minister Chris Murungaru and Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai were shock casualties of Kenya's parliamentary primaries, failing to win ruling party nomination, state media reported on Sunday.

Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, lost President Mwai Kibaki's Party of National Unity (PNU) nomination and decided to defect to a smaller party, the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation said.

Murungaru, a close ally of Kibaki once barred from the United States and Britain for alleged corruption, lost out to a little known trader, the government-run broadcaster said.

The primaries on Friday and Saturday to select party candidates for December 27 legislative elections were marred by violence across the east African nation.

About 14 million Kenyans are eligible to cast ballots in the polls, which will be monitored by the European Commission, the African Union, the Commonwealth and local civil groups.