Photo: ODM Leader Raila Odinga
ODM party primaries are creating a tough time for ODM leader Raila Odinga as he seeks to consolidate his support in Western ahead of elections. All his allies will be contesting for the governor and MP seats in Kakamega, Busia and Vihiga.
In Busia, Senator Amos Wako, former Funyula MP Paul Otuoma and Woman Rep Florence Mutua will be seeking the ODM ticket to succeed Sospeter Ojaamong who is serving his second and last term. Teso North will have Software Engineer Lawi Mamai battling it out with Oku Kaunya.
Mamai was the ODM candidate for 2017 while Kaunya ditched the ANC party for Azimio la Umoja last Friday. Both of them will battle it out for an Azimio ticket. The first-term MP had been elected on the ANC ticket. Teso South will have Ojaamong battle it out with the current MP Geoffrey Omuse.
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In Kakamega, the race to succeed Governor Wycliffe Oparanya consists of his deputy Philip Kutima, Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito and Kenya Electricity Transmission Company managing director Fernandez Barasa. The Kakamega ODM primaries could be complicated by the entry of Lugari MP Ayub Savula into the Azimio movement during the Western rally at Bukhungu stadium recently, although Savula says he remains in ANC but only supports Azimio, it remains unclear which party he will use to contest the Kakamega gubernatorial race.
Photo: Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya
Governor Oparanya, during a meeting with some Kabras elders, declared he will support his deputy Kutima to succeed him.
Kizito who is the Western region ODM co-ordinating executive committee chairman said those joining the party should not expect direct tickets but prepare for nominations. ODM leader Raila has been promising free and fair nominations. Kizito said ODM is a democratic movement and will give equal chance to everyone seeking its ticket to exercise their democratic rights through a free and fair nomination process. “I commend Savula and Kaunya for joining Azimio. They should however know that there are no free tickets in ODM,” he said.
Kizito said those who will lose in the nominations will be accommodated in government once Raila assumes power. Savula had told the Star that ODM had promised him a direct ticket to contest the governorship race. Kizito also said MPs in Kakamega are opposed to attempts by Oparanya to impose his successor on the people. “They want to decide,” he said as he concluded his statements.
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