ODM postpones party primaries in Nakuru

ODM Azimio

ODM party aspirants from Nakuru West constituency address the press in Nakuru town. The party has postponed primaries in Nakuru County.

Photo credit: Joseph Openda | Nation Media Group

The Orange Democratic Movement’s (ODM) National Elections Board has postponed party primaries in Nakuru County. The polls, which were scheduled for today, were put off over fear of violence.

They were to take place in Nakuru West and Nakuru East constituencies, as well as Kaptembwa, Kivumbini, Shabaab and Olkaria wards.

ODM Nakuru branch chairman Bernard Miruka on Friday confirmed that the planned primaries were called off to allow for further consultations before a new date is fixed.

Fear of violence

"It is true the ODM primaries planned for today have been indefinitely postponed to allow for more consultations. There were various issues including logistics that needed to be properly addressed before the primaries were held," said Mr Miruka.

"A new date will be announced later."

However, a source privy to the planned nominations revealed to Nation.Africa that the party cancelled the primaries for fear of violence.

"The primaries were called off over fears that violence could erupt due to disagreements on various issues. For instance, there were concerns over the choice of clerks and presiding officers. Some people wanted Nakuru officials to pick the clerks and presiding officers," said the source.

"The NEB team was attacked by hired goons who were wielding crude weapons. The officials had to seek refuge at a nearby police station.”

He revealed that the matter will be taken up by the ODM elections committee.

Azimio la Umoja

In a March 24 notice, the Orange party said primaries would be conducted in various counties, starting with Nakuru on April 1 and ending in Nairobi on April 21.

The party, a member of the Azimio la Umoja coalition that brings together over 26 outfits, will only hold primaries in 20 counties perceived to be its strongholds.

The Raila Odinga-led party plans to conduct nominations from Monday next week in the coastal counties of Kilifi, Taita Taveta and Kwale, and in Mombasa on Wednesday.

The process will run to April 21, a day before the deadline imposed by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission for holding primaries.

ODM nominations will also take place in Kisii, Nyamira, Turkana, Migori, Bungoma, Trans Nzoia, Vihiga, Busia, Kisumu, Kakamega, Siaya, Homa Bay, Narok, Kajiado and Nairobi.

In the 27 counties where primaries will not take place – mainly in Mt Kenya, parts of the Rift Valley, Ukambani and North Eastern – ODM has used consensus, in some cases, to select candidates.