November 21st 2017

Top Stories / 2017 Elections

Observers galore in awaited Homa Bay ODM poll, creating general election mood

Outgoing governor Cyprian Awiti was optimistic that he would win. "My development record speaks for itself and I know I will win," he said. His main opponent Joseph Oyugi Magwanga asked his supporters to remain vigilant and guard against rigging.

By Free Press Correspondentnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comMonday, 24 Apr 2017 17:29 EAT

Voters queue to cast their ballots at Nyahera Primary School in Kasipul Constituency. (Photo: Gordon Magak/Kenya Free Press).

A number of local observer groups were spotted in polling stations across Homa Bay County as the ODM nomination exercise got underway in the area. Spot checks by political candidates returned the verdict of a fair process, contrary to widespread anticipation of violence.

Even though polling materials arrived late in some stations, voters sat patiently in the centres in readiness for the exercise which was well underway throughout the sub-counties by 1pm. Stations in Kasipul, Mbita and Ndhiwa experienced some delays, and agents of rival aspirants differed bitterly on the voting process in some stations in Kabondo Kasipul and Rangwe but the differences were quickly resolved.

It was, however, the high numbers of observer groups, some driving in diplomatic cars, that caught the people's attention, reflecting in some way the interest that Kenyans beyond the ODM ranks were paying to the vote here. All the major aspirants praised the organisation behind the process that saw voting in all the 816 polling stations.

Outgoing governor Cyprian Awiti was optimistic that he would win. "My development record speaks for itself and I know I will win," he said. His main opponent Joseph Oyugi Magwanga asked his supporters to remain vigilant and guard against rigging.

At Nyahera Primary School this evening, Mr Magwanga caught up with his old opponent Were Ongondo, causing tensions among the voters who were casting their ballots. However, the incident ended peacefully as the two sides exercised restraint.

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