NAIROBI, Kenya—Ignored as an empty talk, party nominations before the 2022 general election are beginning to take grave meaning.
ODM chief Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto are worried about party nominations planned for next year as they have the potential to make or break their political campaign mantra.
With the duo attracting a vast of aspirants across the political party outfits, it is clear that competition will be very stiff in some cases.
Already Ruto’s UDA has been fighting reports that it has guaranteed some of its member’s direct tickets.
ODM, Raila party, has previously been accused of unfair nominations and in recent months the party has announced a raft of measures to address the nomination headache.
There are indications that the biggest headache for the two leaders will come from 10 counties where they enjoy massive support and may see major fallouts.
Governorship, which is the second most prestigious position after the presidency is attracting heavyweights in both ODM and UDA.
Political bystanders and analysts agree that UDA has been perceived to be strong in Mt. Kenya, Rift Valley, parts of the Coast, Western, and Kisii, while ODM on the other hand is boasting support in Nairobi, Western, Nyanza, pastoral areas of Maasai, Turkana, Pokot, Samburu, Norheasrrtn Kenya, and the Coast.
Raila is facing a rough time in Mombasa, Homabay, Migori, Kisii, Siaya and Kisumu.
For Raila, Siaya County is turning out to be a hotspot where he will have to do a balancing act between the will of the people and personal friendship.
In his Siaya home, the former prime minister will be torn between his longtime loyalist and legal advisor JAMES Orengo and former Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo.
In Homabay, the battle is shaping up between Woman Representative Gladys Wanga, ODM chairman John Mbadi, former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, and former MP Oyugi Magwanga.
In Uasin Gishu county, there is Soy MP Caleb Kositany, businessman Jonathan Bii, also from Soy Nairobi executive for Devolution Vesca Kagongo, and Kenya’s envoy to Pakistan Julius Bitol all plotting to take over from Jackson Mandago.
On Thursday Tongaren MP Eseli Simiyu warned that UDA and ODM parties could lose strong candidates to fringe parties if they bungle nominations.
So far it’s clear that Ruto’s problems will be in five counties of Kisii, Uasin Gishu, Kirinyaga, Bomet, and Kericho.