Politics in Kenya are very contested and unpredictable. After the Constitution-mandated five-year term, anyone who makes a poor political decision risks losing their position.
Due to factors such as party politics, political leaning, and track record, few politicians in Kenya are able to successfully defend their seats.
Nevertheless, two politicians, former Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi and former Vihiga Senator George Khaniri, were able to gain elective positions for over 25 years despite the nature of competition.
Since Kiraitu and Khaniri’s political debuts, they have been able to obtain elected seats, until the 2022 general election, in which they both suffered defeat.
Kiraitu Murungi made his political debut in 1992 when he was elected Imenti South Member of Parliament (MP) on a Ford Kenya platform.
He was re-elected in 1997 on a Democratic Party ticket. In the general election of 2022, he ran on the NARC ticket to defend his seat.
In 2007, he joined the Party of National Unity (PNU) in order to defend his seat once more.
Murungi ran for and won the Meru Senatorial seat on his APK alias “Mbus Party” ticket in 2013, following the 2010 introduction of a new constitution that permitted devolution.
He served as senator for one term before running for governor in 2017 and defeating Peter Munya to win.
In 2022, he attempted to defend his governorship, but was beaten by independent candidate Kawira Mwangaza.
George Khaniri made his political debut in 1996 when he won the Hamisi MP seat from his deceased father in a by-election.
In the 1997 general election, he successfully defended his seat on the KANU ticket. In 2022, he joined the NARC and was re-elected to the legislature for another five years.
As the nation approached the 2007 general election, Khaniri joined the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and defended his seat once more.
In 2013, during the country’s first general election under the new Constitution, Khaniri ran for and won the parliamentary seat of Vihiga, which he successfully defended in the 2017 general election.
In 2022, he ran for governor of Vihiga, but incumbent Wilber Otichilo defeated him, marking his first defeat since 1996.