Split votes deny Cord victory in Bonchari by-election

Failure by Cord leader Raila Odinga and co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka to agree on a single candidate played into the hands of the Jubilee coalition and cost them the Bonchari parliamentary seat in the Monday’s by-election.

The coalition also lost in a civic ward repeat poll in Webuye, Bungoma County after ODM and Ford Kenya fielded separate candidates who were flatly beaten by a contestant from New Ford Kenya which is affiliated to the Amani Coalition.

Political analysts Tuesday concurred that had ODM and Wiper put aside their internal differences and fielded one candidate, Cord could have won the race.

The seeds of discord were sowed during the 2013 ODM nominations when Mr Charles Onyancha quit the party after he was denied nomination and joined former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper Party to contest the March 4, 2013 elections. The election was nullified through a petition.

Marshal their supporters

Ford People’s Zebedeo Opore emerged the beneficiary, beating ODM’s John Oyioka Oroo and Wiper’s Onyancha when he garnered 10,947 votes. Mr Oyioka scored 6,977 votes while Mr Onyancha got 5,171.

Prof Olang Sana, a political science lecturer at Maseno University, said ODM or Wiper would have succeeded if they joined forces to marshal their supporters to beat the re-emerging Ford People party.

“If you sum up the total votes garnered by Wiper and those of ODM, it would have been possible for the two parties to produce a winner in the election,” he said.

Last Friday, Cord leader Raila Odinga, as he campaigned for Mr Oyioka said ODM’s victory in the by-elections will not affect the coalition unity.

“When a man is married to many wives, the children in that marriage are free to go out and play during daytime. But when evening comes, all the children go back to their respective houses,” he said.

In the civic by-elections, Amani coalition affiliate parties, United Democratic Forum (UDF) and New Ford Kenya clinched seats in Mau, Igembe South and Misikhu, Webuye West constituencies.

Coalition leader Musalia Mudavadi said the two seats was an outcome of Amani’s rebranding. “We have outperformed major resident coalitions in their home turf.

It shows Kenyans are rethinking their faith in outfits that polarise the country,” he said.

“When we said we are re-branding, we meant it. Kenyans are rewarding sober and focused leadership away from noise. We could even surprise them in Mathare”, he said.

In Misikhu, Ford-K chaired by Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula and ODM lost after each fielded individual candidates.

New Ford-K’s Robert Mwembe emerged winner with 4,120 votes against Ford Kenya’s Milliah Msungo who got 1,977 votes. ODM’s Aron Masinde got 184 votes.

The victory was a big win for former New Ford-K leader Eugene Wamalwa over Ford-K’s Moses Wetang’ula. Mr Wamalwa and Bungoma Governor were solidly behind Mr Mwembe while Ford-K’s secretary general Eseli Simiyu as Ford-K MPs campaigned for Mrs Masungo.

ODM campaigns were spearheaded by MPs John Waluke (Sirisia) and Ababu Namwamba (Budalang’i).

In Maua, UDF’s Duncan Kangwana Miriti won the seat with 1,825 votes, beating TNA’s Victor Mitine who scored 1,264.

-nation.co.ke

The new MP for Bonchari Constituency Mr Zebedeo Opore (centre) receives a certificate from the Returning Officer Mr Peter Refa (left) after being declared winner in the just concluded by-election. Political analysts Tuesday concurred that had ODM and Wiper put aside their internal differences and fielded one candidate, Cord could have won the race. PHOTO/JACOB OWITI

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