The Luo Council of Elders has challenged the NASA presidential campaign in Nyanza and the western region to avoid utterances that could cause voter apathy.
The council chairman, Opiyo Otondi, said the chaos that erupted during the NASA presidential campaign in Rarieda on Monday were regrettable and a threat to Raila Odinga’s presidential bid.
He said violence could discourage the other communities that are supporting Raila’s presidential bid from voting.
He said the emergence of strong independent candidates was a reality and told those campaigning for Raila to win them over instead of using harsh language against them, adding that this was likely to cause voter apathy on August 8.
“Leaders and members of other communities have kindheartedly agreed to support Raila but what happened is unfortunate,” said Mr Otondi.
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He accused some leaders in Luo Nyanza of using the six-piece voting calls to scuttle Raila’s bid for State House, adding that although this system of voting has been used in the region in previous elections, it may not work this time round.
“Residents of Luo Nyanza know how they vote. They should be left to freely decide whether to go for the six-piece voting agenda or not,” said Otondi.
The chairman called for tolerance among politicians during campaigns, saying chaos would only lead to disunity ahead of the August polls.
Saying the ODM primaries were shambolic, Otondi urged the disgruntled independent candidates and area residents to tone down their anger.
The council’s Homa Bay branch secretary, Joram Okola, suggested that the call for the six-piece voting pattern be suspended to avoid violence.
“Supporters and candidates of other NASA affiliate parties feel that these calls sideline them,” he said. [James Omoro]