Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga has defended the party’s decision to hand over direct nomination ticket to Homa Bay woman representative Gladys Wanga to vie for the county gubernatorial seat in the August 9 General Election.
Odinga says the party arrived at the decision to issue a direct ticket to Wanga and Oyugis Magwanga as her running mate after a consensus building meeting he personally chaired with aspirants who were vying for the same seat.
Speaking on Sunday at Nyaore village in Homa Bay County during the burial of former Kenyan ambassador to Qatar Paddy Ahenda, Odinga said he invited the aspirants to agree on one flag-bearer to reduce political temperature that was building in Homa Bay on the gubernatorial race.
He noted that the aspirants who attended the meeting voted among themselves and picked on Wanga and Magwanga, who was also eyeing the same position, as her running mate.
Incumbent governor Cyprian Awiti, who also attended the consensus meeting said that all aspirants were invited in the meeting, which former Nairobi governor Dr. Evans Kidero, however, refused to attend the meeting.
Awiti added the move was aimed at promoting peace in the county ahead of the general election.