Delay by the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Elections Board to release the results of the party’s primaries in Nakuru West Constituency held last Friday, has sparked anxiety among its supporters.
Nakuru West is the stronghold of the Orange party in Nakuru County, the only constituency it won in the 2013 General Election, in the region which has 11 constituencies.
The party, however, suffered a setback when its MP Samuel Arama defected to Jubilee, on whose ticket he intends to defend his ticket.
The repeat ODM nominations were held on Saturday but the Returning Officer, Mr Samuel Nyabinda, said he could not announce the winner as the voting process was marred by irregularities.
The hotly-contested nominations had attracted seven aspirants and included Mr Eric Ogada, Mr Lukas Ogeti, Mr Hezron Okiki, Mr Alex Kaptum, Dr Isoe Ochoki, Mr Philip Ndeta and James Michoma.
TALLYING EXERCISE HALTED
Before the tallying exercise was halted at Heshima Primary school on Saturday, Mr Ogada was leading with 1,425 votes while his closest challenger Dr Ochoki had 706 votes.
On Monday, Mr Ogada who is making a second attempt at the seat, claimed that there was a scheme to rig him out and declare Dr Ochoki the winner.
He accused a Jubilee politician in Nakuru of funding one of the aspirants in the ODM nomination in a bid to have a “weak” ODM opponent in August 8 General Election.
“ODM Election Board should tread carefully on this one because any slight favouritism will make us shift our loyalty to another party and ODM will lose this seat,” said Mr Silas Korir, a resident of Kapkures.
“ODM supporters in Nakuru West have spoken and that is why we are demanding the release of the results or else we shall support a Wiper candidate because Wiper is also part of Nasa,” said Ms Evaline Kwamboka, a resident of Kaptembwa Ward.
OGADA HAD WON
She said the unofficial results at the various polling centres showed that Mr Ogada had won and wondered why the Orange House was dilly dallying in releasing the official results.
Another resident of Barut Mr Vincent Ruto said that if ODM wants to be assured of the 25,000 Kalenjin votes, it must declare Mr Ogada the winner.
“If the ODM Elections Board makes the mistake of declaring a loser as the winner and award him a certificate, we, as residents of Barut, shall not support him and we shall vote for another candidate,” said Mr Ruto.
Mr Ben Omwandho said ODM risks losing the seat to Jubilee if it fails to address the issue.
“Nakuru West is the only stronghold of Raila Odinga and if he fails to intervene then he should as well forget having an MP on an ODM ticket from Nakuru County,” said Mr Omwandho.
The nominations were only held in 15 out of 34 polling entries in the constituency.