Yes We Kenya: Barack Obama's half-brother Malik runs for local governor's office

54-year-old is running as an independent and says he can't escape his famous name

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The Independent Online

In what could be the start on an unlikely political dynasty, another Obama is running for high office.

Malik Obama, the 54-year-old half-brother of the more famous President Barack, is standing for governor in the western Kenyan county of Siaya.

He told the Associated Press: "I'm going into it as Malik Obama.

"I can't run away from my name and association with my brother, but I have the feeling that people somewhat want to see who the brother of Obama is."

Monday's election is an upshot of a new constitution of 2010, which created 47 new political counties, each to be led by a governor.

The change came after tribal violence in 2007 killed more than 1,000 people and displaced 600,000.

The Kenyan Obama has invoked the message of change that his younger brother used to resonant effect in 2008. Malik Obama says his platform is poverty eradication, infrastructure development and industrialisation.

"I hope that you all out there will support me and vote for me for this important position so that we can bring change to the county of Siaya," he said at a recent campaign stop.

He is running as an independent, competing against candidates from well-funded parties, and he may be in need of campaign cash.

Barack Obama's father was from Kenya and the US president has several relatives in the country. Malik and Barack Obama have the same father but different mothers.