, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 21 – Aspirants of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) are unsure of their fate after the party failed to announce decisions on disputes arising from the just-concluded nominations.
The party appeals tribunal that is mandated to resolve the disputes had called a press conference at a Nairobi hotel to announce the outcome but cancelled it at the last minute, even after rescheduling it twice.
The party had indicated that the briefing was to be held at 2pm before it was moved to 5pm and then cancelled after Salim Lone (an advisor to the Prime Minister) claimed that officials of the appeals tribunal “could not be found.”
The briefing was cancelled as hundreds of aspirants and their supporters camped at Orange House waiting to be issued with nomination certificates, while others thronged the venue of the conference.
Major disputes the board was resolving include the alleged nomination of Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s brother Oburu Odinga as Siaya governor, and that of the PM’s sister Ruth Adhiambo, who however announced on Monday that she has decided to pull out of the Kisumu gubernatorial race.
The other is that of Gem parliamentary aspirant Jakoyo Midiwo, another Odinga relative.
Ruth told a press conference in Nairobi that she made the decision for the sake of peace in the lakeside town which witnessed pockets of violence over her alleged nomination.
“In my campaigns I have gone out of my way to convince voters but due to the fuss generated, I would rather have peace,” she said.
Other high profile cases that were to be concluded were in Homa Bay and Migori counties where no nominations were held due to violence.
The party’s elections board chairman Franklin Bett said ballot boxes and papers were destroyed during the chaos disabling the planned nominations.
Protests rocked Kisumu and its environs to denounce an alleged announcement that Ruth had won the ODM Kisumu gubernatorial nomination.
Similar protests also rocked Siaya County after Oburu who is an elder brother to the PM, was announced the winner for the gubernatorial position.
On Monday, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) extended the deadline of submission of the party lists from 5pm to midnight.