Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has owned up to having lost many seats in the last general election due to flawed party nominations and promised not to repeat the mistake.
In a statement on Tuesday, national chairman John Mbadi said: “I wish to assure the ODM supporters that the party is determined to, and shall hold, free, fair and credible nomination of candidates.”
The party, he said, took very seriously the fact that in the past two general elections it lost seats that it ought to have won and saw its strong members shift and win on tickets of other parties because of fraudulent nominations.
At the same time, the opposition party said it will bar its officials from seeking elective positions in the August 8 General Election if they fail to resign on time. The Suba Member of Parliament said the law only exempts the national officials.
“Many have already written letters to that effect,” Mr Mbadi told the Nation on phone. “It is not my demand but rather the law. They are required to relinquish their positions at least two months to the party primaries, which are expected in February.”
He urged the officials, who were expected to have resigned by December 31, 2016, to do so before they are time-barred.
“I have already taken that move and informed the party accordingly,” said the Kisumu County ODM chairman, Professor Ayiecho Olweny, who will be vying for Muhoroni MP seat against the incumbent, Mr Onyango Koyoo.
Mr Koyoo, who was elected on a Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) ticket in March 2013, has since defected back to ODM, having left after “shambolic nominations” in 2013.
Homa Bay County ODM chairperson and Woman Representative Gladys Wanga said she would comment on the matter later.
Kisumu Central Constituency ODM chairman Seth Ochieng’ said he was still in office. He questioned why the law was being applied selectively.
In Siaya County, three officials had resigned. They are Mr William Ohonde (chairman), who plans to vie for East Ugenya Ward MCA post; Dr Christine Ombaka (Treasurer), who is seeking to defend the County Woman Rep seat and Mr Carey Orege (Secretary), who is eyeing the Siaya governorship seat.