Raila sister quits Kisumu race ‘for the sake of peace’

Written By Michael Maunda on Monday, January 21, 2013 | 9:01 PM

ODM Elections Results 2013
Dr Oburu Oginga and his rivaL in the Siaya gubernatorial race, Mr William Oduol, were on Monday dropped from the Orange ticket.

Ms Ruth Odhiambo Odinga, the Prime Minister’s sister, also bowed out of the Kisumu race for governor following protests and incidents of violence.

Dr Oburu, the Finance assistant minister and the PM’s elder brother, and Mr Oduol were denied the ODM ticket by the party’s Disputes Arbitration Panel.
However, former Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo, whose nomination was also disputed, was given the nod to defend the seat.

ODM national elections board chairman Franklin Bett could not, however, say how other disputes in Nyanza, including the one involving Medical Services minister Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o had been resolved, only insisting that the party would release a full list of all its candidates for the March 4 General Election on Tuesday.

Mr Bett said the list was being finalised following a new requirement by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission that the names of running mates of governors be included.
The big winner in the Siaya race is Mr Otieno Okanja, who was nominated by ODM to fly the party’s flag.

The party said the primaries in which both Dr Oburu and Mr Oduol claim victory were marred with malpractices.
Dr Oburu said he reluctantly accepted the party’s decision, adding that the PM and he had come under a lot of pressure over his candidature.
He accused the National Intelligence Service, the Provincial Administration and the police of being behind a smear campaign against the Odinga family.

“There were political interests in the affairs of our county and the Odinga family,” Dr Oburu said, adding that it was his constitutional right to vie despite being the PM’s brother.
“I have been MP for the last 19 years yet no one has questioned my relationship with Prime Minister Raila Odinga,” Dr Oburu said, adding that he would campaign vigorously for Mr Odinga’s win in the first round.
Mr Oduol did not attend Monday night’s ODM press conference at Serena Hotel.
Speaking earlier in Nairobi, Ms Odinga said she is in ODM to stay and that she would campaign for Mr Odinga to capture the country’s presidency.

She said she will also support whoever wins the ODM ticket in the Kisumu gubernatorial race.
Ms Odinga said she had voluntarily stepped down and was not influenced by the Prime Minister.
“I have been vying as Ruth Odhiambo Odinga and not as a member of the Odinga family. I campaigned for the seat on my own...I decided to step down for the sake of peace and sanity in Kisumu. I would like peace to be in the county,” she said, adding that she was still young and would still vie for an elective position in future.

She said she had sought an elective seat because she did not want to be nominated to any position.
Violence erupted in Kisumu at the weekend after supporters of Mr Jack Ranguma, Ms Odinga’s rival for the ticket, took to the streets following reports that the PM’s sister had been declared the winner.

Calm was only restored after Mr Bett refuted the claims. In Nairobi on Monday, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) gave beleaguered political parties a few more hours to compile their lists of candidates.

With the nominations having been mismanaged, leading to violence in places, the parties were cagey with their candidate lists for fear of causing more protests.
Both Cord and Jubilee were also trying to resolve tens of disputes.
The IEBC moved the deadline for submission of the lists from 5pm to midnight, allowing the parties more badly needed hours.

By the time of going to press, neither Cord nor Jubilee was ready to publish its list, despite calling press conferences.
The parties are particularly concerned about the effect the nomination battles will have on their electoral fortunes and the fact that many of their supporters will be facing each other in the election.

The nightmare has been spawned by discontent arising from the controversial party primaries and last-minute party-hopping that redefined the battlefronts within the coalitions’ partner parties in the Coast region.

The reality is stark in a number of counties, with Taita Taveta, Lamu, Mombasa and Kwale presenting the biggest headaches for both the Cord and Jubilee coalitions in terms of the looming “internal battles” in the March 4 elections.

Reported by Lucas Barasa, Mark Agutu and Mwakera Mwajefa