Sumra, Karan get ODM tickets for by-elections


Former Embakasi South MP Irshad Sumra. His election petition against Julius Mawathe was successful and a by-election will be held on April 5, 2019. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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The Orange Democratic Movement has given direct tickets to Mr Irshad Sumra and Mr Chris Karan for the upcoming by-elections in Embakasi South and Ugenya constituencies respectively.

The polls will be held on April 5.

The Raila Odinga-led party, in a letter to the chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Wafula Chebukati, said the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) settled on direct nomination and urged the commission to clear the two.

“We hereby present to the commission the name of Mr Irshad Sumra for the upcoming Embakasi South by-election and similarly that of Mr Christopher Karan for Ugenya. Kindly accord them the necessary clearance,” reads the letter signed by Ms Judith Pareno, chairperson of the party’s National Election Board.

Ms Pareno said the decision will not stir protest among those who were also eyeing the seat as the party constitution allows the NEC to give direct tickets.

“Remember in 2017 we had a ceremony where the party gave direct tickets to many candidates, so this is not the first time we are doing it,” Ms Pareno said.

The two seats fell vacant after the Supreme Court on December 21, 2018 nullified the August 8, 2017 election of Mr Karan (Ugenya) and Mr Julius Mawathe (Embakasi South) on grounds they were not validly elected.

Former Ugenya MP David Ochieng, who lost by about 200 votes, successfully challenged the victory of Mr Karan while Mr Sumra petitioned against Mr Mawathe’s election.

IEBC had set aside February 4 and 5 for party primaries.

President Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party had already said it would not field any candidate in the two by-elections, indicating that having come from a very divisive election just a year ago, it acted in the best interest of various initiatives that will reduce political tension in the country.

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