Taita Taveta Governor John Mruttu has heaved a sigh of relief after the Political Parties Dispute Resolution Tribunal quashed ODM party’s decision to award the nomination certificate to his main challenger Wundanyi MP Thomas Mwadeghu.
The three bench tribunal established that his political rights and those of voters in three polling stations were violated in the exercise.
The tribunal ordered the party to conduct fresh primaries in Challa, Mahuhu and Jipe wards within 72 hours.
They observed negligence on the party for failing to conduct nominations in the three wards, saying that it affected the outcome.
The tribunal noted that the decision by the party to disregard the polling stations could have been intentional to influence the outcome of the nominations.
The bench quashed the certificate issued to the Wundanyi MP.
Last month, Mruttu and Mwadegu’s supporters clashed at Orange House when the two had gone to present their case over the concluded nominations.
The tallied results showed that Mwadeghu had won with 17,567 against Mruttu’s 14,817.
The party had ordered a re-tallying of the votes, a decision that was rejected by Mwadeghu.
The party’s appeals tribunal had directed the National Elections Board to nullify Awiti’s nomination certificate.
After Awiti was declared the winner of the primaries, intense protests rocked Homa Bay County.
According to the results released by the County’s returning officer Erastus Otieno, Awiti had garnered 46,346 votes against his main opponent Kasipul MP Oyugi Magwanga’s 14,661.
Protests were staged by irate residents who vowed to support President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election bid in August if Mwanganga was not declared the winner.
Meanwhile, the tribunal has ruled in favour incumbent Homa Bay governor Cyprian Awiti by upholding ODM’s decision to award him with nomination certificate.
The tribunal ruled that the party adhered to the political parties national appeal tribunal directives.
“Our finding is that in granting direct nomination to the first responded, the party was acting in compliance with directive of the national appeals tribunal,” read the judgment.
Awiti’s main rival Sammy Wakiaga had petitioned the tribunal, lamenting that there were irregularities in the party primaries and violation of political rights by ODM’s decision to issue direct nomination certificate. He had prayed for a repeat of nominations exercise.