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Raila kin, allies sent home in hotly contested polls

Nominated MP Oburu Odinga and Siaya Deputy Governor Ouma Onyango at a Nairobi hotel. Oburu has threatened to sue Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo for damages during the ODM parties primaries. [Willis Awandu, Standard]

NASA leader Raila Odinga’s elder brother Oburu Odinga, his cousin Jakoyo Midiwo and Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma are among the big shots who have lost their bid to defend their seats after the ODM party upheld victories of their rivals.

Oburu and Jakoyo’s fate was sealed yesterday after the National Elections Board (NEB) declared Gideon Ochanda and Elisha Otieno Ochieng as the party nominees for Bondo and Gem constituencies respectively.

Ranguma will become the first governor from the Nyanza region to fail to secure his party’s ticket for re-election after ODM gave the nomination certificate to Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o. Nyando MP Fred Outa got the ticket to replace Nyong’o in the Senate race.

Appeals tribunal

Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga was, however, lucky after the board dismissed an appeal from Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo, whom he had trounced in last week’s nominations.

Rasanga will now defend his seat on an ODM ticket.

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Homa Bay’s Cyprian Awiti was also fortunate to bag the ticket, even after Kaspul MP Oyugi Magwanga claimed victory. Others who have lost their tickets include Agustino Neto (Ndhiwa), Anyanga Omondi (Nyatike), George Oner (Rangwe) and Silvanus Osele (Kabondo Kaspul).

Rebel Kisumu Central MP Ken Obura was also ousted after his rival Fred Ouda was handed the ticket. Ugunja’s Opiyo Wandayi will defend his seat on an ODM ticket while former Ombudsman Otiende Amolo will make his first stab in the Rarieda seat.

Saturday, the board said it was yet to determine the Migori dispute as it awaited a determination from the appeals tribunal where the matter is pending.

However, the board upheld the victories of Senate nominee Ben Olouch and Woman Representative Pamela Awour. Migori County Assembly Speaker Gordon Olouch had contested the Senate primaries.

Governor Okoth Obado and former Rongo MP Ochillo Ayacko are locked in a deadlock over who should fly the ODM flag in the governorship contest. Obado was declared winner but Ayako declared himself the victor, leading to the dispute.

The board also upheld the nomination of ODM Chairman John Mbadi (Suba) despite an early decision by the appeals tribunal to overturn the outcome. An ODM appeals tribunal comprising Willis Otieno, Mohamed Hajir, Florence Omose, George Muthama and Charles Bosire had overturned Mbadi’s victory while faulting the ODM chairman for snubbing summons to appear before them.

The tribunal agreed with Caroli Omondi’s assertions that some polling centres recorded between 100 to 167 per cent turnout on the number of registered voters.

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Yesterday, NEB Chairperson Judy Pareno, Executive Director Oduor Ongwen and NEB Secretary General Bob Arungasaid the board considered all the concerns raised and relied on results delivered by returning officers.

“We have received the results from the returning officers, considered the petitions before the appeals board and this is our verdict,” said Pareno. “We have done the best. We are still waiting for the verdict of the Migori gubernatorial seat.”

Fierce battle

Pareno said all the results have been declared save for Karachuonyo constituency, which is being repeated.

Sharp reactions greeted the party’s final list of nominees, with Ranguma telling the party to prepare for a fierce battle.

“I assured you yesterday (Friday) that I will be on the ballot on August 8. Our faith is unshakeable. We now begin an unstoppable march,” read a Facebook post on his official page at 5.15pm yesterday.

In Homa Bay, supporters of Governor Cyprian Awito took to the streets to celebrate his victory against Magwanga.

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But Magwanga described the decision by the party as a mockery of democracy.

[Additional reporting by Dalton Nyabundi, Scophine Otieno and James Omoro]

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