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Is ODM losing hold of Coast region?

Raila Odinga and Joho PHOTO; COURT

The Jubilee Party, Coast region, is in celebration mood following the recent wave of defections that has affected ODM, the main rival party.

The rate at which the defections have been going make it look like the Coast, once considered the heartbeat of Opposition politics, is now leaning towards the Government party.

Last week alone, over half a dozen Coast politicians elected on the ODM ticket in the last elections quit to join JP.

In Kilifi County, the defectors included Deputy Governor Kenneth Kamto, ODM National Executive Committee member Grace Mboja and popular senator aspirant Kenneth Nyale.

In Taita Taveta, another ODM zone, Woman Representative Joyce Lay announced she would quit ODM to vie for senator on a JP ticket. Senator Dan Mwazo announced he would quit to vie on a Wiper ticket.

But the ODM exodus began even earlier; last year, over half a dozen Coast politicians defected to Jubilee Party. Among them were Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya, Kilifi North MP Gideon Mung’aro and Kwale Woman Representative Zainab Chidzuga.

The question is why Coast politicians should quit the most popular party for the lesser influential JP? There are several explanations for this state of affairs.

Top among them is the fear of losing party nominations unfairly.

Despite assurances from local party leaders that the primaries shall be free, fair, transparent and credible, potential aspirants are wary going by past party primaries, where nomination certificates were conspicuously given to losers and denied the winners.

This happened in the Malindi by-elections in March last year; it also happened in the 2013 polls.ODM Jubilee General election coast region

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