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ODM split widens over Homa Bay elections

13 January 2015, 14:53 William Korir

Nairobi - The Orange Democratic Movement ODM is split over the upcoming Homa Bay by elections, with opposition to the party's candidate Moses Kajwang increasing.

The party has stuck to its guns in fielding Kajwang as the candidate in the February 13 elections, despite numerous supporters opposing the move and other candidates shifting to different parties to contest the elections.

According to ODM chairman John Mbadi, the continuing opposition will not force the party to change its mind over the candidature of Kajwang.

" The party has decided and that decision is final. Campaigns are already underway and our candidate will be succesful come the elections. We will make sure of that," Mbadi said of Kajwang's candidature.

Kajwang himself says that he is happy to face some opposition, which will make his victory at the ballot even sweeter come election day.

" It is everyone's democratic right to decide on the candidate of their choice and so there is no problem with other supporting different candidates. What remains is to see who will come on top, of which I am very confident I will," he said.

Women Representative Gladys Wanga say that the nomination of Kajwang is in order and must that those not supporting it are going against party protocol.

" The party has decided and it is the duty of supporters to follow that decision and give support as decided by the party leader. It is a must that support be handed to the candidate," she said.

On the other hand, opposition has been furious, with some MPs openly going against the party despite orders to support Kajwang.

One such person is Karachuonyo MP James Rege, who finds the direct nomination process undertaken by the party as unfortunate and out of line.

" The nomination of a candidate that is unpopular is unfortunate and the dereliction of people's choice," he said of the decision to go with Kajwang.

So far key persons have already defected from ODM in order to pursue their interests elsewhere. They include Silas Ouko Jakakimba who has defected to the United Democratic Movement UDM and Philip Okundi, the former Rangwe MP.

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