NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 20 – The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) now says no elections were held in Kisumu and Homa Bay due to violence.
Speaking during a press conference on Sunday, the party’s elections board chairman Franklin Bett said ballot boxes and papers were destroyed during the chaos.
“As you know very well because of hooliganism and violence, those elections were not held. I have stated so many times that it is only in a very few areas that the ballot papers we gave were used very well. There are pockets of them and were used very well,” he said.
He indicated that the party will now have to agree on the candidates to select for particular electoral positions.
“The party is allowed to do nominations but I have told them if you want to think about that, you have to be at the nerve centre of what the national officials are saying but at the end of it all, if you mess up, who is to blame?” he stated.
Protests rocked Kisumu and its environs to denounce an alleged announcement that Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s sister Ruth Adhiambo had won the ODM Kisumu gubernatorial nomination.
The demonstrations were simultaneous in Kisumu, Nyando and Maseno where roads leading to Kisumu town were blocked and transport paralysed.
At Kondele in Kisumu town, the demonstrators lit bonfires blocking the Kisumu-Kakamega road as police officers led by the Kondele police chief Johnston Wanyama watched from a distance.
Later on Sunday afternoon, the elections board sent a statement denying it had declared Ruth the winner of the polls.
The standoff came a day after Siaya County residents staged demonstrations to protest against former Bondo MP Oburu Odinga who is an elder brother to the PM after he was announced the winner for the gubernatorial position there.
Bett pointed out that the outcome of disputes over the election of Oburu and that of another Raila relative Jakoyo Midiwo, will be known by Monday.
“I told them (dispute resolution board) to be firm and fair in listening to every complainant and I want to report that the complainant arrived in time. As I am speaking, they have now finished their submissions and the board is now compiling the details and I have told them I have to get their results by tomorrow (Monday),” he said.
The party on Friday night cancelled Oburu’s ‘win’ for the Siaya gubernatorial seat and instead summoned the former Bondo MP and his rival William Oduol to Nairobi.
According to Bett, county elections panel chairperson Monica Amolo did not follow the correct procedure when she declared Oburu the winner.
She had declared the Prime Minister’s brother winner of the Siaya governor’s position with 62,232 votes against Oduol’s 35,198.
The results were from four constituencies but omitted vote tallies from Gem and Alego Usonga, which supporters said are Oduol’s strongholds.
Bett further observed that parties do not have the capability to conduct nominations alone and said that some funds to be overseen by the IEBC needs to be set aside for the exercise.
“Looking at the way it was for all parties across the board, I think it is about time that the government considers the possibility of placing in its budget a financial allocation to be utilised by parties to do their nominations and that it should be used by a body like the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to assist in the process,” he said.