Jubilee Party primaries kicked off without major hitches in Taita-Taveta County as most polling stations opened by 7am on Wednesday.
In Taveta constituency where MP Naomi Shaban cast her vote at Mahoo Primary School, the process went on smoothly.
Long queues were witnessed at the centre and a similar scenario was also witnessed in other polling centres like Sowene and Timbila Primary Schools polling centres in Taveta town.
The MP who has served the constituency for the last 10 years in the national assembly, is facing Mike Banton in the nomination as she seeks to defend her seat in August.
“I am optimistic that I will win this seat considering my development track record. I will beat my opponent hands down,” the MP said.
The Jubilee die hard had earlier ditched the party but made an about-turn two days after her announcement.
She had said her decision was caused by frustrations from top Jubilee leadership who were planning to kill her re-election bid.
“I had decided to quit the party but my voters pleaded with me to remain in the party. It shows that I still have people on my side an indication that I will take an early lead today,” she said.
She said the party was gaining popularity in the county and drummed support for President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.
Her opponent Mr Banton cast his vote at Timbila Primary School.
Mr Banton said he was sure he will clinch the party’s ticket.
“Residents have said enough is enough so they want to change leadership,” he said.
He said the MP had served the residents for 10 years and it was time to bow out.
Voters who spoke to the Nation lauded the process saying they were impressed with the way it was organised.
“I am very weak because I had been hospitalised but I came here to vote because it is my democratic right,” said a voter at Mahoo Primary School polling centre, Stella Munene.
In Voi and Mwatate constituencies, voting started at 6am but low turnout was witnessed in some polling centres.
At Mwanyambo Primary School polling centre in Voi, voters streamed in slowly but voting went on smoothly.
For the Woman Representative seat, Lydia Haika is facing Janet Oben in the primaries.
In Voi constituency, five aspirants will battle it out to clinch the party’s ticket for the seat. They are Dishon Mngoda, George Mwamodo, Boniface Maina, Patience Nyaoga and Mwachari Ndisha.
In Mwatate, Moris Mbondenyi, Tole Mwakidedi, Alfred Maghanga are in the race for the party’s parliamentary ticket.
Party’s county election board chairperson, Frank Mmare, said they had not experienced any hitches in regards to the exercise.
“For now everything is moving on swiftly and we expect the exercise will end smoothly,” he said.