, NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 18 – The Prime Minister’s brother Oburu Odinga has finally been declared winner of the Siaya governor’s position by the county elections panel chairperson.
The declaration giving Oburu 62,232 votes against William Oduol’s 35,198 was made by Monica Amolo in Bondo under tight security.
The results were from four constituencies but omitted vote tallies from Gem and Alego Usonga, which supporters said are Oduol’s strongholds.
Observers had named Oduol the winner in the hotly contested elections with reports emerging as early as Thursday night that Oburu had lost the ticket.
Just before Oburu was declared winner, ODM Elections Board Chairman Franklin Bett was issuing a directive in Nairobi for a repeat of the Siaya nominations following the ‘disappearance’ of the returning officer.
Bett said the board had replaced the Returning Officer for the process to be finalised, as efforts to trace the missing officer were made.
The elections board ordered that all party nominations which were being repeated be completed by midnight on Friday to ensure that candidates were not locked out of the March 4 elections.
Bett said they had been advised by the Independence Electoral Boundaries Commission that results received past midnight Friday would be illegitimate.
He at the same time appealed to voters in Kisumu, Migori and Homa Bay to observe sobriety and peace.
Bett also expressed concern over massive reports of harassment and intimidation of various returning officers following the highly contested ODM primaries.
“These returning officers have been intimidated, they have been threatened with death, some of them have been beaten… as a human being they feel threatened they feel scared,” Bett told a news conference in Nairobi.
At the same time, he disowned a statement made by ODM Secretary General Anyang’ Nyong’o where he promised party members in Kisumu Central Constituency that there would be a repeat poll.
Bett urged the party supporters to raise complaints with the National Elections Board and “not the other noises coming from other members of the party or media.”
“I know the membership of the NEB. My good friend Anyang’ Nyong’o is not a member of the NEB,” he said.
He also dismissed claims that they were delaying announcing the results so that they could doctor them in favour of party favourites.
“I am not doing any monkey business, because I am not a monkey. I am a human being… I am always determined on fairness and the truth so I will comply with the results from the returning officers nothing that has been subjected to what you call monkey business has got anything to do with me,” he stated.
Bett also says all successful candidates must seek their confirmation from the Elections Board and personally pick their certificates.
“I want to urge people when they come for their certificates they don’t have to come with mobs. The certificates are not heavy, they are light papers and they can only be taken by the candidates themselves. I do not want agents to come for them, they are very crucial document,” he said.
He said he will issue nomination certificates on Saturday to those who have been clinched the tickets unopposed. Bett said that he will start issuing the certificates for those who won their nominations on Sunday.