Will Raila’s hand shape battle for Migori Senate job?
SEE ALSO :MPs defy Uhuru, Raila on Gender Bill“In a situation where a few people are picked and told to sit in a boardroom to identify a candidate based on certain interests, fairness will not prevail. I don’t wish to be party to that kind of arrangement.” Anyanga said he would make a decision in due course, adding that voters were continuously piling pressure on him to contest. ODM chairman John Mbadi said the party’s constitution allows it to use its discretion to pick candidates. He says ODM nominations rules and procedure prescribes direct party nominations, universal suffrage or the delegates system as ways that can be used in picking candidates. Inherit the seat “As things stand we are not even aware who the aspirants are. We only read about them in the media. But we have now invited applications,” said Mbadi. Okello’s family wants to inherit the seat and is calling for fairness. They have picked radio journalist and the late senator’s nephew Mark Okundi.
SEE ALSO :Rosemary Odinga: Adjusting to new lifeOkundi presented his papers to Orange House on Friday and is hopping to fit into the shoes of his uncle and mentor. He said he has no problem with direct nomination so long as it is fair and transparent. “The party has told us it has no money to conduct primaries. We are waiting to see how they will do the direct nomination,” said Mr Okundi. Raila may have to step in to cool down things ahead of the by-election. The Kuria community does not want to be left behind either, and is also seeking the ODM ticket to contest the seat. “Do not wish the Abakuria away. Their votes will count too,” said Kuria East MP Marwa Ketayama. In a region where tribe, clan and party affiliation determine election outcomes, the Kuria community presented a candidate in the last election – Solomon Hodo – who emerged third.
SEE ALSO :Raila tells off MPs over pay hike“All Kurians voted for him (Hodo). Migori and sections of Nyatike and Awendo also provided their support, he could pull a surprise. ODM should let the people choose their best candidate,” Ketayama said. Besides Ayacko, Okundi and Otieno, others eyeing the seat are former Suna East MP John Pesa and businessman Eddy Oketch, who was Okello’s runner-up in last year’s elections. NEC meeting Also in the race is former Kasarani MP Ochieng Mbeo. Mbadi said the party has already called for an urgent National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting tomorrow to decide on the race. Even if ODM issues a direct ticket to any of the aspirants, its nominee would also have to face off with aspirants from other parties. Jubilee will however not field a candidate because of the good relationship it now has with ODM, according to the party’s Secretary General, Raphael Tuju. Tuju made the assurance during Mr Okello’s burial after Raila asked him not to present a candidate. Pesa asked ODM to allow all the aspirants to face the people at the ballot. “Let each one of us be allowed to campaign, market our ideals and policies for the people to make an informed decision,” said Pesa. [email protected]