ODM primaries in Mombasa, despite violence and technical problems » Capital News

MOMBASA, Kenya April 10 – The highly anticipated ODM Mombasa county party elections went ahead in all 30 wards on Saturday despite allegations of interference, corruption, delayed voting and hooliganism.

At the Mombasa Primary School polling center, riot police led by GSU personnel had to be deployed to ease tensions between two rival groups.

Police had to step up security around the polling station after rowdy youths tried unsuccessfully to disrupt the voting process.

The GSU and plainclothes officers arrived after a brief clash between supporters of six candidates who were watching the ODM party ticket for the Mji wa Kale/Kizingo neighborhood.

Voting was also halted briefly at Allidina Secondary School and Kadarboy in Makadara Field, where police were forced to intervene.

One of the candidates, Abdirahman Husseni, called on the party’s National Electoral Council to disqualify candidates who caused violence during the nominations.

While accusing his opponents of ganging up on him, Husseni said these candidates were tarnishing the party’s image.

“We cannot allow hooliganism to continue in the party, the NEB should disqualify those candidates who seek to spoil the good image of the party,” he said.

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Orange party gubernatorial hopeful and businessman Suleiman Shahbal and senatorial candidate Hisham Mwidau downplayed the sporadic violence and hailed the party’s decision to use the electronic voting process to organize elections. primaries.

“The election is going well despite technical problems and violence here and there. I see no reason why the party does not hold elections for the positions of governor, senator and women’s representative. It makes no sense for a few people in Nairobi to decide for 2,500 ODM members in Mombasa,” they added.

Speaking to reporters at Tononoka Social Hall, where Shahbal voted, the two politicians warned the party’s top leadership to look at a deeper crisis if they issued direct tickets to specific candidates.

“We do not believe that appointments should be made selectively in the boardroom based on certain opinion polls which cannot be validated. Let the people decide. I continue to insist that it It is up to Wanjiku to decide who should be their leader,” he added.

Shahbal, who faces Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir in the ODM governorship race, said he was confident of winning the ticket if the party held free, fair, credible and verifiable elections.

The MCA elections came after candidates refused to adopt the census methodology during a Friday afternoon meeting with NEB President Richard Tairo and Mombasa ODM President Mohammed Hamid Khamis.

Tairo and Khamis told reporters that they had met with the 160 MCA candidates with the aim of convincing them to pursue the path of consensus to defuse rifts within the party and unnecessary tension.

“Our goal is to have everyone on board and that’s why we had asked them to agree who among them should represent our party in the August elections,” Khamis added.

For his part, Tairo said that the electoral committee was not interested in the nomination process and that its main objective was to conduct a process that would yield a positive result.

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“The board will not be biased or take sides. We are here to encourage our aspirants to talk to each other and come up with a roster of people willing to take on the task. In any case, if they fail to agree, we are ready and able to conduct the elections,” he stressed.