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Aspirants count losses as Court of Appeal halts mini-polls

NYANZA
By KENAN MIRUKA | November 26th 2013

By KENAN MIRUKA

Candidates cleared to vie in the Nyaribari Chache by-election are counting losses after last week’s Court of Appeal ruling to shelve the poll.

Nine candidates were cleared to vie for the parliamentary seat that fell vacant following a successful petition by poll loser Richard Tongi challenging the election of immediate former MP Chris Bichage.

Bichage lodged an appeal at the court, which sat in Kisumu last week, and issued an order staying the mini-poll until the matter is determined.

The move put in jeopardy preparations for the election slated December 19 and now candidates say the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the Judiciary should have consulted and come up with one position to avoid the inconvenience. “Something is amiss in Government when two institutions give conflicting positions. IEBC cleared us signalling the start of campaigns for this seat before the Judiciary threw a spanner in the works. Now we don’t know whether to proceed with campaigns or not,” lamented Rael Otundo of Narc Kenya.

Plans for polls

She said most candidates had spent a lot of money and time preparing for the by-election and stopping it was an inconvenience.

“The electorate in Nyaribari Chache will continue to suffer without a representative denying them development,” she added.

Richard Tongi (Ford People) and Ken Omanga (Kanu) shared similar views. Returning Officer Robert Ngeny said IEBC had been served with the Court of Appeal order suspending all plans for the poll. Meanwhile, seven candidates have been cleared to contest in the forthcoming Bomachoge Borabu by-election. Those cleared are Albert Nyaundi (Ford People), former MP Joel Onyancha (TNA), Josiah Maaga (UDF), Samson Mbeche (PPK), Peter Kimori (ODM), Christopher Siambe (KNC) and Nixon Nicodemus (Narc-K).The seat fell vacant following a successful petition by poll losers Peter Kimori and Albert Nyaundi.

ODM yesterday said that they resolved to support Mr Kimori. In a press conference at Orange House, officials led by Senator Chris Obure (Kisii) said the party is ready to drum up support for Kimori who is vying for parliamentary seat on ODM ticket. “We are ready to go the ballot to support the ODM candidate.

We are confident of winning the seat since we are satisfied that we have put all the necessary preparation in place to win the seat,’’ Mr Obure. Former MP Onyancha has exuded confidence of recapturing the seat.

–– Additional reporting by Lucas Ng’asike.

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