NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 17 – The Orange Democratic Movement’s Cornel Rasanga looked set to regain his Siaya County Governor’s seat, as he took an early lead in provisional results following Thursday’s by-election.
Rasanga had polled 76,457 votes with more than half of the 631 polling centres having reported their results.
William Oduol, whose petition led to the nullification of Rasanga’s March 4 win, was second with 46,611 votes. Noah Winja trailed with 1,025 votes.
Rasanga became the first Governor to lose his seat after the High Court nullified his election citing a litany of electoral malpractices.
High Court judge Aggrey Muchelule averred that Rasanga was not validly elected the Siaya Governor during the March 4 General Election.
The judge pointed out a list of electoral malpractices meted out on Oduol by his opponents during the campaigns as the basis of nullifying the election of Rasanga.
Justice Muchelule also noted that the 9,000 vote margin announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission for Rasanga was disputed by a recount in some areas which reduced it by 897 votes.
The judge said that there were a number of alterations in some Forms 35s which were not countersigned by agents and returning officers.
Justice Muchelule said that the petitioner suffered a number of malpractices during the campaigns where his posters and billboards were damaged by his opponents.
He said that at some instances ODM luminaries under the command of James Orengo, Jakoyo Midiwo and a host of party hardliners invaded campaign rallies of Oduol, forcing him to walk away.
He said that ODM supporters destroyed Dr Oduol’s posters and superimposed them with photos of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto.
Justice Muchelule further said that an ODM supporter, Aggrey Onyango and former Alego-Usonga MP, Edwin Yinda provided vehicles which were used in distributing materials containing the portraits of Kenyatta and Ruto hence depicting him as a TNA mole. He said the evidence was not disputed in court yet Onyango was in court during most of the proceedings.
He said an electoral offence had been committed but declined to find that there were incidents of bribery and vote stuffing as alleged by the petitioner in his petition.
Justice Muchelule observed that vote recounts in Gem, Rarieda and Bondo and some few polling stations disclosed discrepancies in votes cast in those areas compared to what was announced by the IEBC.