Raila Odinga’s ODM party today suffered a major blow when its’ candidate was floored by an independent candidate Brian Ochieng Obiero in the just concluded South Gem ward by-election in Siaya County.
Obiero beat ODM’s Polycarp Wanga by getting 3469 folowed by the ODM candidate who garnered 3,353 votes. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) suspended the election for the MCA seat following the death of ODM candidate Nick Wanga in July this year. Obiero was declared the winner by IEBC’s Returning Officer Ezekiel Juma.
Kenneth Omolo of Jubilee Party came a distant third with 321 votes followed by MDG party’s Bernard Ondego who got 67 votes, independent candidate David Nyang’un managed 44 votes and LDP’s John Adino got 35 votes. Others included independent candidate Christopher Ouma who got 21 votes, UDM party’s David Audi got 20 votes and CPK party’s Enock Okinyi Okech came last with 11 votes.
Speaking shortly after receiving the interim IEBC certificate at 1am on Friday, Obiero expressed his gratitude to the people of South Gem ward for having faith in him to lead them for the next five years.
He also promised to fulfill his campaign pledges to be able to drive the region forward in terms of development. “I want to thank the residents of South Gem for considering my bid. you have to fight for me to get the seat and will equally push for goodies that will benefit you without fear,” said Obiero.
The hotly contested by-election was, however, marred with chaos and voter bribery which led to at least eight people being injured and three vehicles damaged after chaos broke out in Aluor and Kambare polling stations. Before the August 9, 2022 elections, the seat was held by David Audi, who won in 2017 after beating ODM’s candidate Peter Lolwe with 9,329 votes against 2,988.
Obiero’s election now brings to four the number of MCAs elected on a non-ODM party, which dominates the county. The MCAs for West Yimbo, North Gem, and East Asembo wards were elected on independent, Federal Party of Kenya (FPK) and United Democratic Movement (UDM) party tickets respectively.