- Although they were handed direct nominations and party tickets for the by-election, Mr Karan and Mr Sumra fell short of the party’s expectations.
- ODM Director of Elections Junet Mohamed and Director of Political Affairs Opiyo Wandayi said the party will, without a doubt, return to the drawing board to find out what went wrong.
- Political pundits opine that the outcome of the polls could be an indicator of an emerging politically mature electorate and what to expect in future elections.
Leaders of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) on Saturday put on a brave face, acknowledging that its humiliating performance in the Ugenya and Embakasi South by-elections was a wakeup call.
Smarting from the embarrassing defeat of its candidates Christopher Karani (Ugenya) and Irshad Sumra (Embakasi South), ODM Director of Elections Junet Mohamed and Director of Political Affairs Opiyo Wandayi said the party will, without a doubt, return to the drawing board to find out what went wrong.
Mr Mohamed issued a statement in which he congratulated the winners and lauded voters for demonstrating political maturity.
“The people have spoken in favour of politics of accommodation, tolerance, reason and embracing each other and the wider national agenda. We applaud this,” he stated on Saturday.
He praised supporters of Mr Raila Odinga's party, who took part in campaigns and voted, for maintaining peace throughout.
“Through this, our continuing march into a truly democratic nation has been enriched,” he said, and thanked President Uhuru Kenyatta for asking his Jubilee Party to pull out of the two mini polls in the spirit of the handshake.
Mr Mohamed said the President's decision made the by-elections a friendly contest among allies. David Ochieng (Movement for Democracy and Growth) won in Ugenya while Julius Mawathe (Wiper Democratic Movement) won in Embakasi South.
Although they were handed direct nominations and party tickets for the by-election, Mr Karan and Mr Sumra fell short of the party’s expectations.
In Ugenya, Mr Ochieng of the little-known MDG, which he founded after leaving ODM in 2017, trounced Mr Karan by getting 4,223 votes, upsetting the political equation in a region where the orange party was dominant.
Mr Ochieng, a former MP in the constituency, garnered 18,730 votes against Mr Karani's 14,507 votes, out of the 33,342 votes cast.
In Embakasi South, Mr Mawathe won the seat by garnering 21,628 votes against Mr Sumra's 7,988 votes.