The Orange Democratic Movement party has denied claims to have issued direct tickets to some candidates ahead of nominations, which is regarded as a violation of laws guiding the party.
ODM’s National Elections Board (NEB) Chairperson Catherine Mumma has responded to the claims saying, they only issued tickets in situations where consensus was applied.
“The ODM party is in the process of carrying out its party nomination. The first and most important method is arriving at candidates through consensus,’ she said
This follows a recent incident where ODM party leader, Raila Odinga issued direct nomination tickets to six Members of Parliament from Kakamega County who decamped to the party from DAP-Kenya and ANC.
Mumma noted that the party has resorted to using the consensus method in party nominations to avert adversities among eligible candidates.
“We are encouraging the aspirants to speak to each other and not be negatively competitive. We have issued direct tickets in seats where we have a single candidate and in cases of cultural nomination by communities,” Mumma stated.
She further explained that where consensus will fail they will resolve to opinion polls so as to get the best candidates.
However, ODM allies in different parts of the country have already raised concerns over the manner in which the primaries have been planned claiming a plot to edge out some leaders.
Residents of the Mkomani ward in the Nyali constituency have threatened to move to court to stop the exercise, planned for April 6, should they not be called for a meeting to straighten things out.
“The way these nominations are being organized is troubling. First, why were we, as stakeholders, being aspirants, not consulted over the change of polling stations?” said Bonface Ochieng Ater.
Changamwe legislator Omar Mwinyi has also protested over the primaries, claiming the exercise was moved to a polling station with fewer registered ODM members which will sabotage some aspirants.
“Kuna kituo ambacho ni cha Lilongwe Gardens, ni kituo cha kitambo sana na kituo ambacho chabeba watu wa Port Reiz mpaka hospitali, ni watu ambao hawapungui 5000 na kimeondolewa hiki kituo kikapelekwa kanisa moja ambapo hakujakuwa na kituo hapo,” said Mwinyi.
Meanwhile, the ODM party lauded the move by ODM Chairman, John Mbadi to step down in the Homa Bay gubernatorial race which will set a good example for the aspirants during consensus hence giving the party an easy time.
Mumma has reassured all aspirants who will participate in the party primaries that the exercise will be free and fair.
“We would like to assure all our members that the process will be free and fair, the voting will happen on tablets; they will select from an e-ballot and the vote in real-time will be tallied,” she said.