President Barack Obama’s half brother, Malik, announced that he will be running for the governorship of Siaya, a county in western Kenya, as an independent candidate.
Malik Obama, 54, made the announcement Sunday, telling a crowd he would use his relationship with the U.S. president to address poverty and unemployment, Bloomberg reported.
“Siaya county is facing a lot of problems from poor infrastructure to poverty due to bad leadership,” said Malik Obama, who has the same father as President Obama. “I will change this if elected.”
Kenya’s elections, which are scheduled for March, will be the first since 2007, when a dispute over the outcome triggered ethnic fighting, which resulted in the death of over 1,100 people. Approximately 350,000 more were forced to flee their homes.
Malik Obama is likely to face the brother of Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga in the election, according to Bloomberg.
The county, with a population of about 842,000 people, has a poverty rate of 35.3 percent, while HIV and malaria infection rates are among the highest in the country, according to Commission on Revenue Allocation data.