On Tuesday ODM party deputy leader and Mombasa Governor, Ali Hassan Joho explained why they lost the Msambweni by-election, asserting that timing was unfavourable.
While addressing Kwale County party leadership, Joho stated that the loss of Msambweni MP seat, a mini poll in Kwale county, and other places should not be used to judge ODM’s popularity.
“Those thinking that the by-election was the measure of the popularity of the party are daydreaming. We conducted peaceful campaigns. As I have said before, according to us, the evening of December 15 marked the end of our campaigns. We have viewed the results. Obviously, as a party, we must do a postmortem to understand what we did wrong; where we need to correct and what we learnt. That is the process of democracy,” said Governor Joho.
ODM nominated Omar Boga to secure the seat that had been held by the party for two consecutive elections by former Member of parliament, Suleiman Dori who passed on in March 2020 while undergoing treatment.
ODM lost to Feisal Bader, an independent candidate who received political back up by the deputy president William Ruto since the Ruling party, Jubilee did not field a candidate for the contest, in honour of the handshake between Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Mr. Joho claimed that the low voter turnout affected their winning in the by-election.
“How do you explain a by-election on a working day? It was on a Tuesday. A working day. Voter turnout is roughly 40 per cent and in some areas, it was 30 per cent. In general, the total percentage of voter turnout was less than 40 per cent. There is also a big chance that a lot of the people never came out to vote or never had the opportunity for their voices to be heard,” Joho said.
He added, “Only a fool would use this to determine that the popularity of the party has gone down. How is that possible? If you celebrate that then you are lost.”
ODM leader Raila Odinga in his speech stated that the party had convened the meeting to assess its performance in the mini-polls, after which the results will be used to reorganize the party ahead of the 2022 General Elections.
“Engagement of this nature like a by-election is always an exercise of postmortem so that we can understand the dynamics of what transpired,” he said.
Mr. Odinga announced that the party will shift its attention to matters of national interests even as it awaits the BBI referendum in June 2021.