Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka
Governor Kenneth Lusaka and five legislators from Western region have been handed direct Jubilee Party tickets.
Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali, who is also the Jubilee pointman in the region, his Navakholo counterpart Emanuel Wangwe and Bernard Shinali of Ikolomani were gifted the tickets without having to go through the rigorous nomination exercise.
Others are Dan Wanyama (Webuye West) and John Waluke (Sirisia). Former ODM national youth leader, Rashid Mohammed, also got a direct ticket that he will use to try to unseat Mumias West MP Johnson Naicca.
Kakamega gubernatorial aspirant Mabel Muruli is also assured of a direct ticket since her two main rivals have withdrawn from the race.
Former Cabinet Minister Amukowa Anangwe, who was touted as the JP favourite candidate, has since withdrawn his candidature while retired army officer Suleiman Sumba has since ditched JP and joined Kanu.
However, Matungu MP David Were, his Malava counterpart Moses Malulu Injendi and Boniface Otsiula (Bumula) were not so lucky.
Former Lurambi MP Manyala Keya has also been guaranteed the ticket since his competitors have withdrawn from the race.
Khwisero parliamentary aspirant Patrick Opembe also bagged the JP ticket without sweating for it.
He said the ticket has put him a cut above his competitors adding that Jubilee could pull a surprise in Khwisero despite ODM dominance.
Mr Opembe is a brother to former Butere MP Jesse Opembe. Mr Lusaka and Mr Washiali have insisted that the party nominations will be free and fair and dismissed possibilities of foul play.
“We want to hold our nominations in a peaceful environment to guarantee all aspirants a transparent and credible exercise,” said Washiali.
Speaking to journalists yesterday, Washiali said JP was now focusing on August 8 general elections.
The Jubilee aspirants face stiff competition from ODM and ANC competitors. They, however, believe confusion that marred ODM nominations in the region could be a blessing in disguise for them.
Earlier, Mr Malulu had claimed that there were forces out to frustrate him during the JP nominations and scuttle his chances of defending the Malava parliamentary seat, allegations that have since been dismissed by his competitor.
Mr Washiali said the Jubilee Party was targeting at least five parliamentary seats in Kakamega County alone and more elective seats across Western.