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ODM savours Homa Bay big win, puts rebels on notice

ODM supporters celebrate the victory of Senator-elect Moses Kajwang’

ODM supporters celebrate the victory of Senator-elect Moses Kajwang’

The Orange Democratic Movement on Friday declared that its victory in the Homa Bay Senate seat race was a warning shot to party rebels and asked them to quit before the next elections.

Senior ODM politicians who spoke to Nation on Friday, were also in agreement that the outcome was a major boost for Cord leader Raila Odinga who has been fighting to stamp his authority in Luo Nyanza, one of his strongholds.

It was clear it would have been disastrous for Mr Odinga had Cord lost the seat to candidates who had been packaged as sympathetic to the Jubilee coalition in his backyard.

“Homa Bay was an important election for ODM and Cord leader Raila Odinga. A loss for us would have weakened our campaign ahead of the 2017 elections and given our opponents ammunition,” Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong’o said.

“Like Makueni, which is a Wiper stronghold, we had to pull all stops to ensure we did not lose at home.

“A loss would have hurt Raila’s political stature,” Prof Nyong’o noted.

So high were the stakes in Homa Bay that Mr Odinga made four campaign tours to the area, a style that is largely uncharacteristic of him in Luo Nyanza.

Explaining the outcome of the election, the senator-elect said that the contest had direct consequences on Mr Odinga’s political fortunes.

‘REMAINS UNDISPUTED LEADER’

In his victory speech, Mr Kajwang’ suggested that his victory was Mr Odinga’s as well.

“My victory is not only a confirmation that the dreams of the young people are valid but also a confirmation that Mr Odinga remains the undisputed leader of the Luo community”, he said.

A number of MPs notably James Rege (Karachuonyo), George Oner (Rangwe) and Agostino Neto Oyugi (Ndhiwa) opposed Mr Kajwang’ candidature following his direct nomination.

Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero had initially been reported to have thrown his weight behind Maendeleo Democratic Party candidate Philip Okundi but he later withdrew his support saying he was aware that the party constitution did not allow him to support a rival candidate.

On Friday, Mr Okundi, remained defiant, disputing the over 100,000 vote margin that separated him from Mr Kajwang’.

“We cannot accept that Mr Kajwang’ won this election. The figures on the ground are not these things that have been changed here in favour of the ODM candidate,” said Mr Okundi.

He said he would explore several options to ensure Mr Kajwang’ is disqualified as the duly-elected senator.

“The IEBC has a name to protect. We expect them to do all that is possible to have our complaint against the election process addressed,” he said.

But speaking on Friday after the official declaration of results by the Electoral commission, Prof Nyong’o, ODM National chairman John Mbadi and the party’s Director of Elections Junet Mohammed declared that the resounding victory by ODM was a warning shot to the rebel MPs.

They said that the victory was an indication that the views of the political rebels were not only against the party but also unpopular on the ground.

“Victory for Mr Kajwang’ is a demonstration that the people of Karachuonyo, Rangwe and Ndhiwa have passed a vote of no confidence on their MPs,” said Mr Mohammed.

The only honourable thing that his colleagues should do was to resign instead of waiting to be kicked out, he said.

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