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ODM mulls consensus in Busia primaries

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) on Tuesday hinted at the possibility of solving through consensus an impasse pitting Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong and his main challenger, Dr Paul Otuoma, over planned repeat nominations in the county.

Funyula MP Otuoma had given ODM a 48-hour ultimatum, which he extended to Wednesday, to hand him the ticket claiming he won the nominations and rejected a repeat.

But Mr Ojaamong has said he was not afraid of the repeat poll, scheduled for April 25.

On Tuesday, the party took a middle ground, calling for calm and promising fairness.

“Both Governor Ojaamong and Dr Otuoma are our members,” said the secretary-general, Dr Agnes Zani, at Orange House.

AGREEABLE SOLUTION

“We are doing interactions and discussions with a view to moving forward with an agreeable solution.

“We have started our own tallying audit process and what happened on the ground needs to be investigated.”

Mr Ojaamong was declared the winner in the Thursday poll with 92,358 votes against Dr Otuoma’s 63,752 but the results were later annulled with ODM announcing that the repeat would only be done in Teso North and Teso South constituencies.

CHARGED IN COURT

“I still believe I won and, even if there is a repeat tomorrow, we shall go,” said Mr Ojaamong in a live NTV interview on Monday. “Let’s go back to the people and we’ll see.”

Meanwhile, five people suspected to have marked ballot papers purporting to be votes for Mr Ojaamong were yesterday charged in court.

Mr Gabriel Idewa, Mr Stephen Angura, Mr Edgar Murunga, Mr David Nyamue and Mr Anthony Ajalusi allegedly disseminated marked ballot papers with the intention of unlawfully influencing the outcome of the ODM primaries, which is against the Election Offences Act.

Prosecution said the five presented marked ballot papers purporting to be validly cast votes in favour of Mr Ojaamong on April 13 in various polling stations in Teso, Busia County.

The accused pleaded not guilty and were released on a cash bail of Sh700,000 or bond of Sh1 million to Sh1.5 million each.

The case will be mentioned on Thursday.

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