Kenyan party gives contenders direct tickets

August 24, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 24 – The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has given direct nomination to its candidates who will vie in the upcoming Starehe, Madaraka and Juja By-Elections.

Former Housing Minister Bishop Margaret Wanjiru will seek to reclaim her Starehe seat while Reuben Ndolo gets a straight ticket to contest in Makadara in the September 20 by-elections.

Speaking after presenting them with the party certificates, ODM National Elections Board chairman Joseph Misoi said the party settled on the candidates due to the short period provided before expiry of the nomination process by the Interim Independent Electoral Commission.

"There are many factors that we considered in such membership; commitment and loyalty to the party among other things,” he said.

Dick Githaiga was picked as ODM’s  flag bearer against Narc Kenya’s William Kabogo and George Thuo of the Party of National Unity in Juja.

In picking the automatic candidates, ODM may be seeking to prevent a repeat of the South Mugirango debacle, which led to a fallout and eventual defection of the party’s former Treasurer Omingo Magara, after he accused the ODM leadership of double standards.

Mr Magara was forced to decamp to little-known People Democratic Party after ODM refused to give him a direct nomination to defend his parliamentary seat which he had lost after the High Court nullified his 2007 election victory.

Bishop Wanjiru was elated at the nomination, saying she would endevour to retain the seat for the party.

"We want to appreciate that our party has honoured and respected the work that we have done over thee years," she said. The former MP is expected to present her nomination papers to the electoral commission on Wednesday. The deadline for presentation of papers is August 26.

The seats fell vacant after the high court nullified the election of MPs from the respective constituencies.


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