BY EVELYN KWAMBOKA and LAWRENCE ALURU
The Orange Democratic Movement has nominated Wilson Ouma Onyango as Cornell Rasanga’s running mate in the Siaya governor by-election.
The decision was made following a series of meetings attended by the party’s top brass and a number of MPs from the region.
The move was made to resolve a stalemate that has rocked the party after Rasanga, whose election was nullified by the High Court, was given a go-ahead to defend his seat.
This decision to hand Onyango the ticket leaves out former Permanent Secretary Carey Orege and Elisha Odhiambo, who were being fronted by some leaders to take up the running mate position.
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“We are happy the party has finally decided to allow Rasanga and Onyango back. We are going to ensure that the seat remains in ODM,” said George Okanda, the Siaya ODM chairman.
Okanda said Rasanga and Onyango must be given a chance to complete the development projects they have started.
“The governor’s office is new and they had started setting up the structures to enable the office to be fully operational in developing the county,” he said.
Some of the hopefuls left out have agreed to support the two candidates in their campaigns which will begin officially on September 18.
Mr Oduor Ong’wen said he accepted the party’s decision and would support Rasanga in his campaigns. ODM is now preparing to hit the campaign trail from September 18 against William Oduol, who filed the petition against Rasanga.
In nullifying Rasanga’s election, the High Court ruled that the ODM Brigade team interfered with the campaigns before the March 4 polls. The team comprised of Oburu Oginga, Senator James Orengo, Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo and Women Representative Christine Ombaka. The High Court ruled that the ‘politricks’ used by the team denied Rasanga’s political rival a chance to a free and fair election.
Yesterday, ODM Secretary General Anyang Nyong’o said the party is working on mechanisms to ensure there is no repeat of the campaign intrigues that led to the High Court’s decision to dismiss Rasanga’s March 4 victory.
According to evidence adduced in court, an ODM Brigade invaded Oduol’s rally at Luthehe market where they used propaganda to malign him.
Oduol was addressing a rally at the market in Ugenya Constituency when Rasanga’s convoy arrived. The team forced Oduol to cut short his rally and leave the market.
Ugenya Constituency legislator David Ochieng said the ‘Young Turks’ team was preparing to start campaigns to ensure the party retains the seat.
“We will retain the seat just the way we did in the Makueni by-election,” he said.
Meanwhile, ODM officials in Siaya yesterday said they will take stern actions against some ward representatives who refuse to follow the party’s decisions.
The officials, led by Okanda, were reacting to the threats by some county representatives not to support the party’s candidate in the by-election.