Delay of ODM primaries in Kisumu, Siaya leaves aspirants a disgruntled lot

April 24, 2017 9:15 am
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The turn of events threw the aspirants in a state of more confusion with gubernatorial candidate Hezron Makobewa terming the move unfortunate/OJWANG JOE

, KISUMU, Kenya, Apr 24 – The Orange Democratic Movement’s National Election Board on Sunday postponed the Kisumu and Siaya county party nominations to Tuesday.

A statement from board chair Judith Pareno reads: “The decision has been arrived at as a result  of unavoidable circumstances… The Board regrets any inconveniences caused to Aspirants and supporters.”

The decision did not however not go down well with several of the aspirants who include sitting Bondo MP Gideon Ochanda who is facing Oburu Odinga in the fight for the ODM ticket.

“This is the fourth time this is happening. I don’t believe there are technical reasons for these postponements as they’ve had six months to disburse the ballot boxes and there’s nothing so special about the ballot papers that would have occasioned this delay.”

The Kisumu county ODM Returning Officer Tom Okongo on Sunday said that after consultation with the party secretariat, the exercise had to be postponed to allow for proper preparation.

According to Okongo, he was appointed through a phone call on Saturday night to replace the team that was headed by lawyer Geoffrey Yogo.

Yogo and his team had to resign after a section of aspirants complained that they were leaning towards other candidates.

Okongo said the confusion he found in the county ahead of the party primaries was enormous and he could therefore not proceed with the exercise as planned.

Addressing a press conference on Sunday night from a Kisumu hotel, Okongo said that he realised the aspirants were not adequately briefed on the preparedness of the nomination exercise.

Okongo noted that conducting the exercise amid confusion would bring chaos in Kisumu thus the need to cancel and reschedule.

The turn of events threw the aspirants into a state of confusion with gubernatorial candidate Hezron Makobewa terming the move “unfortunate.”

Makobewa noted that such sensitive information ought to have come from the National Elections Board first.

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