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February 19, 2019

Ayacko gets 44 out 70 electoral college votes in Migori senator race

A file photo of politicians Ochilo Ayacko and Edick Anyanga at Kibuon center in Nyatike constituency, Migori county. /MANUEL ODENY
A file photo of politicians Ochilo Ayacko and Edick Anyanga at Kibuon center in Nyatike constituency, Migori county. /MANUEL ODENY

Politician Ochillo Ayacko has comfortably won the Migori county electoral college vote that is part of steps to fill the senator seat.

The former cabinet minister got 44 of 70 votes in the exercise that took place on Monday.

The results will be presented to the ODM National Executive Council which will unveil the candidate on July 26.

Seven executive branch officials from each of the eight constituencies in Migori and 14 from the county executive branch met at the county headquarters today, but only 49 members qualified for the vote.

They picked the best out of 10 who declared interest in the seat that fell vacant after Senator Ben Oluoch succumbed to throat cancer earlier this month.

Former Nyatike MP Edick Anyanga came second with two votes while businessman Eddy Oketch got one.

All other candidates - former Rongo MP Dalmas Otieno, former Migori MP John Pesa, former Migori speaker Gordon Ogolla, educationist Solomon Hodo, Ogola Ogola, David Osiany and John Magaiwa - did not get any votes.

Okelo eldest son Willis Okech and his cousin Mark Okundi, who have been embroiled in a family standoff over who should be heir, also didn’t get a vote.

Two votes were spoilt.

“The results were transmitted to the NEC before we made them public after a peaceful voting process,” county ODM chairman Philip Makabong’o said.

Makabong’o said they undertook the process after the party headquarters asked for help in picking the best candidate through direct nominations.

County ODM secretary Joseph Olala said electoral college voting is a requirement according to party rules and regulations as it helps the NEC to know the most suitable candidate to give the ticket.

“Voting was free and fair,” Olala said.

The party officials have appealed to the electorates and the aspirants to observe peace during campaigns as they await the council's decision.

During the process, officials said they wanted a candidate who will not be influenced in ensuring development in the county.

The IEBC said the by-election will be held on October 8 with strict deadlines for party primaries.

During the Senator’s burial, ODM leader Raila Odinga initiated a handshake between Ayacko and Governor Okoth Obado after the bloody and violent August 8, 2017 elections for the governor post.

Ayacko lost on an independent ticket to Obado who was under ODM. He withdrew his election petition which ended up at the Court of Appeal in Kisumu after it was thrown out by the High Court. The appeal judgment was to be delivered on July 27.

Ayacko's quest to be speaker gained momentum after he declined President Uhuru Kenyatta ambassador nomination.

Read: Ayacko withdraws petition against Obado, to bid for Migori senator

Also read: Obado and Ayacko finally shake hands

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