ODM member seeks to stop Homabay nominations

Kenya: A member of the Orange Democratic Party (ODM) has moved to court seeking to have the nomination exercise for the position of Homabay Senator stopped until the seat has been declared vacant.

Kenneth Ogalo wants the Senatorial seat declared vacant before the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) can request parties to submit the names of their nominees.

IEBC wants parties to submit their selected nominees by Friday, December 19 and Ogalo maintains that the exercise should be stopped until the seat is declared vacant.

He says that the decision by IEBC to fix dates for nominations without following due process is unconstitutional, adding that the expectations of the people of Homabay County will be violated.

He further argues that the time given to submit nominations and for the exercise itself is too short adding that it was done without consulting the people.

"Political parties have not been given adequate time to prepare and carry out credible nominations and print ballot papers," Ogalo says in his petition.

He further argues that the conduct by IEBC is unprocedural and inconsistent and they have failed to hold consultations with the political parties through the Political Parties Liaison Committee.

The rights of the Homabay people, he further states, will be affected as they will now choose their candidate through the delegates system instead of the universal suffrage as in article 38 of the constitution.

The Homabay Senatorial seat was left vacant after the passing of Senator Otieno Kajwang on November 18 at the Mater Hospital in Nairobi, after suffering a cardiac arrest. He was buried a week later at his home in Homabay on November 28.