Raila and Mudavadi renew rivalry in Western Region
Bungoma, Kenya: The stage is set for a renewed rivalry between CORD and Amani in the Bungoma senatorial by election after all the candidates were yesterday cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
Friday was the turn of Coalition for Reform and Democracy’s candidate and former Senator Moses Wetang’ula to present his nominations papers to the IEBC. Wetang’ula was escorted by CORD leader and deputy leaders Raila Odinga and former VP Kalonzo Musyoka with more than 20 MPs amidst colour and pomp that brought activities in the dusty town of Bungoma to a standstill. On Thursday, Amani coalition’s candidate former Cabinet minister Musikari Kombo presented his papers escorted by his coalition’s leader Musalia Mudavadi and New Ford Kenya leader Eugene Wamalwa.
The two coalition partners renew their political rivalry in Western Kenya since March this year when both Raila and Mudavadi vied for the presidency but lost to Jubilee’s Uhuru Kenyatta. Mudavadi, who vied for the presidency under the Amani coalition of which his UDF party is a member, came third in the hotly contested General Election that saw Raila emerge second.
Immediate former Bungoma senator Wetang’ula finally received the green light to vie for the area senatorial seat yesterday after the Bungoma County IEBC county returning officer Ben Misati gave him the nomination certificate to gun for his previous position.
The former Sirisia lawmaker lost his seat following a successful poll petition by former minister Kombo of New Ford Kenya who was also cleared on Thursday. Other candidates now in the race include former Bumula lawmaker Sylvester Bifwoli Wakoli and journalist David Makali.
In a show of might, the Ford Kenya leader was escorted by his CORD co-principals and over 20 leaders aligned to the coalition to the IEBC offices and later to Posta Grounds where they addressed a public meeting, bringing business to a standstill in the town.
Addressing thousands of jubilant supporters at the grounds, the CORD leaders exuded confidence that Wetang’ula would recapture his former seat and appealed to the county residents to turn out in large numbers in the by-election slated for December 19 and cast their votes for the former senate minority leader.
Raila said candidates aligned to his coalition were the major casualties as the elections of most them were nullified and noted that most of them have recaptured their former seats.