Obama's half brother to run for Kenyan office

Malik Obama says President Barack Obama advised him to "have thick skin" as he campaigns for office in his native Kenya.

Malik Obama hopes to duplicate the political success of his better-known half brother — in Kenya.

The 54-year-old half brother of President Barack Obama says he will run for governor of Siava, a county in Kenya, where his and the president's father, Barack Obama Sr., was born.

"Siaya county is facing a lot of problems from poor infrastructure to poverty due to bad leadership," Malik Obama was quoted as saying by Bloomberg. "I will change this if elected."

He told CNN he discussed his political ambitions with Barack Obama on Nov. 16 during a visit to the U.S., shortly after Obama was elected to a second term.

The president's campaign advice? "Have thick skin, be honest and sincere," Malik Obama told CNN.

Malik Obama will run as an independent candidate in Kenya's election in March.

The county of Siaya, in the western part of the country, has a population of about 842,000.

Malik Obama, who studied accounting at the University of Nairobi, and his half brother met for the first time in 1985 and have reportedly kept in close contact ever since. Each served as the other's best man at their weddings.

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