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President Obama's Older Half Brother Loses Election In Kenya

President Barack Obama's Kenyan half brother, Malik Obama (L) talks with some of his supporters on January 16.
Tony Karumba
AFP/Getty Images
President Barack Obama's Kenyan half brother, Malik Obama (L) talks with some of his supporters on January 16.

There is one bit of news from last week's Kenyan elections that's just now getting international attention: Malik Obama, President Obama's older half brother, suffered a crushing loss in his bid to become governor of Siaya.

Kenya's Daily Nation reports:

"Standing well over six feet, Obama, who describes himself as an economist and a financial analyst, told AFP on the campaign trail that he would use his contacts with Washington to bring development to the rural backwater he hoped to govern.

"'Why would my people settle for a local connection when they have a direct line to the White House,' he said."

The Guardian reports that Obama, 54, ran on a familiar platform. He promised change that "included reducing poverty, building infrastructure, industrialising and bringing American chains such as McDonald's to his neglected rural area."

The Daily Mail spoke to Obama as he was "licking his wounds." He told the paper he was his own man, but he also expressed admiration for his brother.

The Mail reports:

"The brothers do share a bond, forged from their first meeting, in adulthood, 27 years ago. They were best man at each other's weddings and remain in regular contact – especially as both now live in Washington DC. ...

"'I see my brother privately at least once a year, when I go to visit him in the White House and say hello. It's like visiting a working national monument, such as the Smithsonian or Buckingham Palace."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.