NAIROBI, May 19 – The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Monday announced that it would hold party nominations for three constituencies on Friday, ahead of the June 11 by-elections.
ODM Secretary General Professor Anyang’ Nyong’o said the nominations would be conducted in Emuhaya, Ainamoi and Embakasi constituencies.
No nominations will take place in Kilgoris since there is only one ODM candidate, whereas in Wajir North it would be a runoff between the ODM and Party of National Unity (PNU) candidates who tied during last year’s general election.
The three constituencies have a total of 30 candidates, ten from each constituency.
Ainamoi and Embakasi constituencies fell vacant following the deaths of David Kimutai Too and Mugabe Were, and the Emuhaya seat was made empty when the former Member of Parliament (MP) Kenneth Marende was elected as the Speaker of the National Assembly.
The Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) nullified results from Kilgoris, Wajir North and Kamukunji constituencies due to irregularities.
However, the fate of Kamukunji has not yet been determined by the law courts, where the PNU candidate Simon Ng’ang’a Mbugua moved to block the ECK from holding a by-election there, claiming that he had won.
At a news conference on Monday, the ODM National Elections Board Chairman Philip Okundi assured that fairness would be exercised during the nominations.
He said measures had been put in place to ensure complaints raised in the previous nominations were addressed.
Okundi also rubbished claims that the party had preferred candidates.
“Only candidates who will be nominated by Kenyans will have the blessings of ODM. Only the winners will be ODM MPs. Those who say we have any preferred candidates, rest assured we have none,” he stressed.
Okundi further elucidated that the elections board was working on serialising ballot papers so that they are not tampered with and reduce chances of rigging.
Transparent ballot boxes are to be used to ensure the exercise was free and fair.
The by-elections are set to be closely watched after claims of rigging in the December poll caused a wave of violence that led to the tragic loss of more than 1,000 people, and the displacement of about half a million others.
The Chairman added that Returning Officers and Presiding Officers would be recruited from other constituencies to avoid any cases of conspiracy with the candidates.
Okundi also announced a nine-member elections board for the party, including: Okundi – Chairman, Dr Joseph Misoi – Secretary General, Mohammed Okash, Amukowa Anangwe, Judy Pareno, Paul Mbatha, Hellen Katangie, Francis Runya and James Wakaba.