Fight for Alego ODM ticket now goes to parties disputes tribunal

Alego Usonga MP Samuel Atandi displays his ODM nomination certificate. 

Photo credit: Tonny Omondi | Nation Media Group

The battle for the ODM party ticket for Alego Usonga parliamentary seat has reached the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal (PPDT), just two days before candidates’ names are presented to the electoral agency.

Dr Nicholas Ochogo filed his complaint under a certificate of urgency. ODM and MP Samuel Atandi are the first and second respondents, respectively.

This is the second petition against Mr Atandi’s win in the party’s primaries.

Mr Ochogo told the Nation that he wants ODM to nullify the nomination and offer him a direct ticket.

"The nominations were carried out in a manner that favoured the incumbent and as a result, the people were denied their democratic right," he said.

He added: "The ODM party has powers to nullify the nominations just like it did in Gem. The scenarios are the same. My prayer before the tribunal is to have the people's voice respected."

Mr Atandi sought to downplay the petition, saying his opponent was wasting time and resources.

“The nominations were conducted by the ODM National Elections Board and I won with a landslide. He went to the tribunal, which also upheld my victory. Again, we are heading to the PPDT. Honestly, what is wrong with my opponent?” he said.

The case was scheduled to be heard on April 25 but was pushed to the next day after Mr Atandi’s lawyers requested more time to file a response.

“I was served late and we are working on the response, which we will file today. The prayers that my opponent presented before the PPDT were not granted; he requested the PPDT to stop ODM from presenting my name to the IEBC on April 28, which was not granted,” he said.

ODM held nominations in Siaya on April 13 through universal suffrage for the position of woman representative and for Gem, Bondo and Alego Usonga MPs.

In Alego Usonga, Mr Atandi defeated Mr Ochogo, a former university don, with the former getting 17,789 votes against the latter’s 3,350 from the six wards in the constituency.

Nominated MP Jackline Oduol finished third with 542 votes.

Siaya Woman Representative Christine Ombaka garnered 27,521 votes, ahead of her main challenger Pamela Akelo, who received 20,513.

Dr Jalang'o Midiwo, a brother of the late former MP Jakoyo Midiwo, could not counter the wave of MP Elisha Odhiambo, receiving 6,384 votes against the incumbent’s 7,405.

Dr Gideon Ochanda trounced Andiwo Mwai to earn his ticket. Mr Ochanda received 10,771 votes against Mr Mwai’s 4, 967.

But the latter challenged the win, saying voting was marred by electoral irregularities.