Otuoma rejects repeat of primaries in Busia
Funyula MP Paul Otuoma has threatened to ditch ODM after rejecting the Orange party’s National Elections Board directive that Busia County primary elections for the post of governor be repeated.
After widely consulting he said, he has concluded to run for the seat during the August 8 poll on an independent ticket.
He was speaking in Changara in Teso North Sub County after traversing Teso region, four days after Governor Sospeter Ojaamong was declared winner of the contested election.
“I gave them (ODM National Elections Board) 48 hours to hand over the certificate to me,” he said.
“Now that I have not received it, I will go for the people power. The people are on my side and the law allows me to run as an independent candidate. We will meet at the ballot.”
On Friday, Busia County Elections Board declared Ojaamong winner of the election in which Ojaamong garnered 92,358 votes against Otuoma’s 63,752.
Otuoma, however, protested the outcome alleging the poll was rigged in Teso North and Teso South constituencies. His supporters demonstrated in Busia town.
The ODM National Elections Board (NEB), on the same day, nullified the results and ordered for the election’s repeat on Friday April 25.
Ojaamong refuted the rigging claims maintaining he genuinely won the election saying there was need for a repeat.
“People have been spreading a pack of blatant lies that Busia is burning after the ODM primaries,” Ojaamong said on Tuesday.
“There are no protests in the county. People have also been spreading propaganda that Teso South has only 40,000 registered voters. The truth is the region has more than 67,000 registered voters according to the IEBC register, while Teso North has over 50,000.”
NEB chairperson Judith Pareno in a statement said scrutiny of the poll results revealed flaws which can cause discord and ordered for a repeat of the election.
Her directive, however, said the repeat election would only be conducted in Teso North and South constituencies.
She said the results for the other seats will remain as received.
“If you don’t listen to me, I will join people who are ready to listen,” Otuoma said.
“You can then give Ojaamong a whole sack of certificates if you want. Ojaamong lost the election and should step down and free the people of Teso North and Teso South.”
There has been tension in Busia town after the election following reports that Otuoma was planning to ferry his supporters to demonstrate outside Ojaamong’s office along the Busia-Kisumu highway.
On Saturday, members of the Busia County Council of Elders from the sub counties of Butula, Matayos, Funyula and Budalang’i held a meeting in which they ordered ODM’s NEB to hand over the certificate to Otuoma or the party loses support in the county.