Dilemma for ODM as Senator Orengo joins race for Siaya governor

Dilemma for ODM as Senator Orengo joins race for Siaya governor
Dilemma for ODM as Senator Orengo joins race for Siaya governor

The race for Siaya governor is likely to take a new shape following indications that Senator James Orengo wants to take over from Cornel Rasanga.

A source close to the Senator told the Star that Orengo paid ODM the Sh500,000 nomination fees to ODM on Tuesday.

He is the fifth aspirant seeking the ODM ticket ahead of nominations slated for February. Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo, former PS Carey Orege, businessman William Oduol, and Rasanga have been working towards clinching the ODM ticket.

The source added that plans were underway for Orengo to meet Ugenya elders at his home before the end of this week.

It is believed the Senator will seek the elders’ blessings before publicly declaring his interest to the electorate at Siaya stadium.

This comes barely a week after ODM announced new nomination fees for aspirants interested in seats in the 2017 general election that will take place on August 8.

The move has thrown Rasanga’s allies back to the drawing board as Orengo’s candidature will definitely deal a major blow to the incumbent’s re-election bid.

The Senator, unlike his competitors, will be riding on his vast experience in politics and vicious advocacy for democracy in the country.

But his move is unikely to go down well with some county leaders who have publicly declared their preferred candidates in the race.

Gumbo had warned ODM officials against endorsing any candidate in the guise of loyalty to the party or its leader Raila Odinga.

Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi had hinted that ODM will not gamble with the Siaya governor seat, the county being Raila’s backyard.

The situation puts Raila in a tight spot since Rasanga and Orengo enjoy a good working relationship with him.

According to a section of Siaya residents, Orengo is likely to enjoy the support of ODM but Rasanga has received the public endorsement from county leaders and other Nyanza leaders.

Several MPs, apart from Jakoyo Midiwo and Nicholas Gumbo, want Rasanga to go for a second term in line with negotiations that shaped the 2013 polls.

Wandayi and Siaya woman representative Christine Ombaka are among leaders who have endorsed him saying he has been tried and tested.

But Raila has said on several occasions that he has no business interfering with the nominations.

Siaya is largely ODM and residents have always been rallied to vote in a six-piece model in favour of the Orange party. This means all candidates will fight hard to clinch the party’s ticket at the primaries.

The governor seat has emerged as one of the most lucrative owing to the trappings that come with the office.

Midiwo has been working closely with Oduol and Gumbo. The Gem MP said he will name his preferred candidate in December.



Dilemma for ODM as Senator Orengo joins race for Siaya governor

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