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Why ODM aspirants rejected elections board

Kisumu governor Jack Ranguma walks out of the meeting consisting of Kisumu ODM aspirants

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) nominations are set for a rocky start in its Nyanza stronghold after a group of aspirants demanded disbandment of the County Elections Board, saying it was made up of partisan individuals.

Governor Jack Ranguma, MPs Shakeel Shabir (Kisumu East) and Onyango Koyoo (Muhoroni) and several aspirants said the board was made up of allies of Kisumu Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o, Nyando MP Fred Outa and County ODM Chairman Ayiecho Olweny.

Prof Nyong’o is vying for the governor’s seat while Outa is campaigning for the Senate and Prof Olweny wants to unseat Mr Koyoo. The aspirants also protested the merging of polling stations, saying it was done to favour certain candidates.

In a petition to the ODM secretariat, the aspirants said the board chaired by Geoffrey Yogo cannot be allowed to conduct the nominations scheduled for April 13 because it is partisan.

Merged polling stations

“We reject in toto and without any room for negotiation, the current Kisumu County Elections Board headed by Mr Yogo and comprising Kennedy Ojwang and Monica Ajwang, among others,” reads the petition, adding that Yogo is Outa’s personal lawyer.

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The aspirants said the merging of polling stations ought to have been done with the full participation of all aspirants.

“We reject the very skewed merging of polling stations, which is an attempt to disenfranchise, manipulate and canonise sections of the voters within Kisumu town,” says the petition.

They accused Nyong’o and Olweny of interfering with the nomination process.

However, Nyong’o and Outa, who were running a joint campaign in Nyakach yesterday, dismissed the allegations as petty politics. Nyong’o said such claims were all too familiar and were being propagated by people planning to leave the Orange party.

“None of those (board members) have been our supporters, they have been party officials. And when they were party officials they were for everyone, why are they now becoming our supporters?” said the senator.

“These are people who already want to leave the party, they should go if they want to.” He said they were busy campaigning and had no time for petty politics.

Nyong’o said the allegations that he and Ayiecho recently tried to manipulate the election process lacked foundation. Outa shared his sentiments.

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