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Sunday, 02 Apr 2017 17:09 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
Orange Democratic Movement National Election Board on Saturday met party aspirants from Busia County for various seats where it threatened to disqualify violence perpetrators. Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong and his challenger Paul Otuoma were among aspirants who converged at the Hotel Afrique in Busia Town for the crucial meeting ahead of party primaries next Friday.
Commissioners Justice Vitalis Juma and Norah Anindo briefed the aspirants on the party rules regarding the primaries which entails each candidate having two agents at each polling station and one gent each to witness the tallying. Anindo said the party will not condone acts of lawlessness and will revoke certificates upon proof that such candidates had engaged in acts of lawlessness.
She said only registered members of the party will be allowed to vote with an option of a backup system where members whose names will not appear in the register allowed to vote upon verification from the black book. Commissioner Juma said the party has printed ballot papers with watermarks zerorized and different serial numbers for each county. This is aimed at preventing results manipulation.
Teso North MP aspirant Okwara Ekirapa said it was anxious moments during the primaries where head teachers are presiding officers and teachers are clerks. He asked NEB to enlighten the aspirants on such scenarios. Anindo said there was no problem with such arrangements since school heads and teachers cannot compromise their positions to manipulate the outcome. " In any case heads have offered their schools to undertake the exercise for free."
Governor Ojaamong said he was happy with the manner in which the aspirants conducted themselves during the meeting with the party election board. Addressing the press after attending the meeting, Ojaamong dismissed claims by Otuoma that the referee in the contest is his ally. "I am also a player like him to warrant such claims."
He dismissed claims that he was not remitting the party's monthly subscription. "I am a life member of the party. Remitting monthly contributions is voluntary. While Otuoma admitted losing in the primaries is not in his vocabulary, the Governors said the contest is like a football match.
"I am ready to support him if he wins and likewise I expect him to do the same if I floor him. ODM is my party. There are many opportunities one can take including being advisor to the party leader Raila Odinga. It is also not true that I have the backing of the party leader. I am mature to defend myself," he said.
However, Ojaamong said he is ready to offer support to Odinga considering the support accorded to him when he was still young.