The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Central Committee has overturned the party’s Disputes Resolution Tribunal ruling that upheld the nomination of Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo as the party’s candidate in the August 9 General Election.
The resolution was reached a few hours after the tribunal chaired by Fredrick Orego dismissed the petition filed by his competitor Jalang’o Midiwo, citing that the election was conducted in a credible manner.
In a statement issued late Sunday, the Orange party directed the National Elections Board (NEB) to proceed and issue a direct ticket in line with Rule 8 (b) of the party primaries and nominations rules.
For the second time, the party disputes resolution tribunal earlier upheld the nomination of Mr. Odhiambo, maintaining that the exercise was credible and above board.
The ruling conducted virtually on Sunday dismissed a petition filed by Mr. Midiwo who argued that the party nomination process was characterized by malpractices and violence and therefore wanted a review.
However, Mr. Orego who chaired the tribunal faulted Mr. Midiwo for failing to provide concrete evidence that the irregularities denied residents the right to elect the leader of their choice.
The tribunal verdict came four days after they set aside Mr. Midiwo’s first petition, saying that the primaries were conducted according to the party’s nomination rules.
Mr. Orego noted that Mr. Midiwo had failed to demonstrate that the claimed irregularities had affected the outcome of the election.
“The allegations levelled against Mr. Odhiambo were highly generalized, pleaded without specificity and, during the oral submissions, were not highlighted,” he said during the meeting held at Rockwell Hotel in Kisumu.
“We are afraid to note that despite the gravity of the allegations the appellant raised, there was no evidence to support his case,” he added.
Determined to have a review of the earlier ruling that upheld the nomination results, Mr. Midiwo filed another petition that saw the team settle the matter in Nairobi.
The panel pointed out that their verdict relied on the Supreme Court in Presidential Petition Number One of 2017 between Mr. Raila Odinga and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. The court’s ruling stated that irregularities in an electoral process can overturn an electoral result if they impact the results.
“The irregularities must be widespread or pervasive and [have] the effect of rendering the election null and void,” Mr. Orego said.
“It is not enough for the appellant to rest his appeal solely on the claims of violence and voter intimidation,” noted the ruling.
Mr. Odhiambo took to social media to celebrate his victory, attributing it to the residents of Gem.
“The appeals tribunal has again dismissed the review application filed by Jalang’o Midiwo. My win has been upheld for the third time. Gem people have won,” he said.
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