Former Bungoma Governor Ken Lusaka has trounced Farah Maalim to be declared the second Senate speaker in the second round of voting.
Lusaka, enjoying the backing of Jubilee Party senators, the majority in the House, garnered 42 votes out of the 67 that were cast against former National Assembly Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim, who came second with 25 votes.
Voting went for second round after none of the six candidates managed the mandatory two-thirds of the total vote required for one to be declared winner.
Lusaka garnered 40 votes in the first round, while Maalim managed 23. Outgoing Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro managed two votes.
Before voting commenced, Lusaka sailed through a rocky start to his bid after opposition senators led by Siaya senator James Orengo questioned his eligibility to run for the seat on integrity grounds.
The opposition senators argued that, though not proven guilty, Lusaka could not contest for the seat unless he was cleared under Chapter Six of the Kenyan Constitution, but Senate Clerk Jeremiah Nyegenye ruled that the allegations against Lusaka had not been proven, and that the petition had not been adopted by the House.
The former county boss was endorsed for the position in a Jubilee Parliamentary Group meeting chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House in Nairobi on Wednesday.