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Leaders seeking to succeed Cornel Rasanga call for fair primaries

By Olivia Odhiambo | July 5th 2021
Siaya Governor Cornell Rasanga. [File, Standard]

ODM aspirants for the Siaya gubernatorial race have asked the party to ensure free and fair party nominations.

The leaders led by former police spokesman Charles Owino have called on the party to avoid favouritism during the exercise. Mr Owino who is the Deputy Director at the Kenya National Focal Point on Small Arms and Light Weapons is among those seeking to succeed Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga.

Others in the governor race are Siaya deputy governor James Okumbe and former Rarieda Member of Parliament Nicholas Gumbo.

Gumbo ditched ODM in the 2017 elections after losing to Rasanga during the chaotic nominations and vied as an independent candidate. It is not clear if he will seek the ODM ticket in 2022.

Senator James Orengo and Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi are said to be in the race, but have not publicly declared their interest.

Owino who spoke during the burial of politician Florence Aluodo told leaders eyeing governorship not to wait for the ODM to give them a certificate without going through nominations. 

“Anybody interested in vying for the gubernatorial seat should start wooing voters. Nobody will receive the certificate on a silver platter,” he said.

The former police spokesman declared he is ready to safeguard his votes during nominations to avoid foul play.

Wandayi who is the ODM director of political affairs urged voters to vet the candidates and elect a visionary leader who is development-oriented.

The MP challenged aspirants to present their agenda to the people. He assured that ODM will conduct democratic, free and transparent nominations.

Wandayi asked leaders who are eyeing the ODM ticket to come out publicly instead of maligning the party. “This position was confirmed by our party leader last week. I want to assure our supporters that in Siaya, ODM will grab all the seats. If you want to compete with ODM come out and put your agenda rather than maligning the party,” he said.

He said the party was already preparing for the 2022 General Election.

“I hear people interested in leadership positions in this county talking about votes. I am among those leaders who have vied and know what it takes to ask for votes and get them,” he added.  

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