The race for the Migori senatorial seat has quietly begun as Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leaders warned members, including Governor Okoth Obado, against opposing a chosen candidate.
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Led by East Africa Legislative Assembly MP Oburu Oginga and Senate Leader of Minority James Orengo, they asked all ODM members to support nominee Ochillo Ayacko.
Dr Oburu warned that any ODM leader who strayed from the party’s nomination policy would face action.
He defended the party's method of nominating candidates to vie for elective positions, saying it was legally backed by party rules.
The warning comes days after Mr Obado vowed to oppose the party's preferred candidate, terming the direct nomination process a sham.
Oburu said the governor was out to wreck the party from within.
"ODM is still exploring a number of options it can best use to carry out nominations devoid of rancour," he said at a rally in Ugenya, Siaya County, yesterday.
He said the party would not tolerate internal rebellion.
"Anyone who doesn’t comply with the party’s rule will face action," he said, adding that even in established democracies, parties had the prerogative to guide supporters.
Mr Orengo, Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga, MPs Elisha Odhiambo (Gem), Sam Atandi (Alego-Usonga) and Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja) supported Oburu's sentiments.
They warned that ODM would take action against the governor, MPs and MCAs who voted against Mr Ayacko.
Already, ODM MPs in Migori led by Paul Abuor (Rongo) have called a parliamentary caucus meeting, which has decided to back Ayacko as asked by the party. And youth leaders want ODM chairman John Mbadi to take action against anyone who goes against the official party line.