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ODM directed to issue certificate to Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo

Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo standing outside Parliament Buildings on January 21, 2022. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The Political Parties Disputes Tribunal has directed the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party to issue nomination certificate to Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo.

Odhiambo had challenged ODM’s decision to withdraw his win in the April 13 party primaries.

Odhiambo got 7,405 votes against his fiercest rival Jalango Midiwo’s 6,384.

After nullifying Odhiambo’s victory, ODM’s Central Committee directed the National Elections Board (NEB) to issue a direct ticket to Jalango Midiwo, the brother of the late Gem Member of Parliament Jakoyo Midiwo.

Odhiambo had been accused of entertaining violence during the polls, allegations he vehemently denied.

Dissatisfied with the primaries outcome, Midiwo filed a complaint with ODM’s Disputes Resolution Tribunal.

The tribunal, sitting in Kisumu, however upheld Odhiambo’s win, saying Midiwo failed to prove that the nominations were marred by irregularities.

Despite the tribunal’s ruling, ODM directed the National Elections Board to issue the ticket to Midiwo.

This attracted opposition from Odhiambo, who escalated the matter to the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal.

The tribunal on Saturday, April 30, 2022 issued its ruling, directing ODM to award the certificate to Elisha Odhiambo, saying he was validly chosen during the party primaries on April 13.

The tribunal also faulted ODM’s Central Committee for withdrawing Odhiambo’s win over alleged poll chaos, saying he hadn’t been given a right of reply before his victory was nullified.

“Even if the Central Committee were exercising legitimate powers, it would have been incumbent upon it to ensure compliance with the universal basic rules of natural justice, particularly by granting the complainant (Odhiambo) a right to be heard before condemning him or significantly affecting his rights,” ruled the tribunal.

“The 2nd (ODM’s National Elections Board) and the 4th (Orange Democratic Movement Party) respondents are hereby directed to forthwith issue to the complainant (Odhiambo) the final nomination certificate to contest for the Member of National Assembly for Gem Constituency, in any event within 24 hours of this order, and to forward his name to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC),” ruled the tribunal in orders signed by the Vice-Chairperson Wilfred Mutubwa, who presided over the hearing of the matter.

Others who signed on the ruling are Fatuma Ali and Sifuna Walubengo, who are members of the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal.