The Nyanza region which is the hometurf of Azimio la Umoja flag bearer Raila Odinga will in August in August face a different type of wave as a number of bigwings vying as independent candidates and other parties are looking to oppose ODM party’s candidates.
In Siaya County James Orengo who is running on a ODM ticket is up against Nicholas Gumbo of the United Democratic Movement.
Gumbo who vied and lost in 2017 to Colonel Rasanga and got 179,368 votes against Rasanga’s 198,889 is emerging as a front runner in the Siaya governorship.
In Kisumu Governor Peter Anyang Nyong’o is also up against a similar obstacle in his bid to keep his seat. Nyong’o is in a battle with former governor Jack Ranguma.
Despite being an established politician in the area and a close associate of Raila, Nyong’o has been unable to secure an outright win in the face of Ranguma’s force.
Gladys Wanga, the ODM’s candidate in Homa Bay County, is up against a comparable obstacle. Wanga, who is now the region’s Woman Representative, will compete against Evans Kidero, a former governor of Nairobi who is running as an independent.
Kidero was let down by ODM’s choice to provide Wanga a straight ticket. In the contest to succeed current governor Cyprian Awiti, who is serving his second and final term, the two are anticipated to engage in a vigorous tug of war.
In Migori County, another Nyanza region where ODM has always received strong support, nothing has changed. There will be a fight between, among others, current senator Ochillo Oyacko and former lawmaker John Pesa.
While John Pesa will be running on the Democratic Alliance party ticket, DAP, Senator Oyacko is running on the ODM ticket. As the two front-runners vie to succeed governor Okoth Obado, who is seeking a second term, the contest also appears to be one worth watching.
These machinations might be a sign that ODM is losing ground to other Azimio-affiliated parties. In order to field the strongest candidates in the upcoming elections, zoning regions have been advocated as a solution to the problem of the Azimio alliance fielding several candidates.