Rivalry between Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong and Funyula MP Paul Otuoma will take center stage during ODM party primaries, with both aspirants expressing confidence in clinching the ticket on April 7.
Governor Ojaamong downplayed Mr Otuoma, saying he does not have what it takes to defeat him.
“Although I will be fighting for the ODM ticket first before facing other candidates at the ballot in August, I am optimistic of carrying the day. I don’t see much competition from my opponent,” he told after a closed door meeting of ODM aspirants at a hotel in Busia.
In case he loses, he said he will support the victor.
Mr Ojaamong defended the county elections board over integrity issues raised by Mr Otuoma who expressed concern over its composition.
“We have laid out procedures to conduct nominations. The board members were elected by the National Elections Board and some of us are meeting them for the first time. I am confident the board will conduct free and fair elections,” he said.
On his part, the legislature remained positive that the will of Busia people will prevail.
He at the same time criticised the incumbent for not fulfilling the pledges he made when campaigning in 2013.
“Mr Ojaamong cannot hide anywhere after failing to deliver what he promised the people of Busia. It’s only constituents who will decide who the next governor will be, not party leader Raila Odinga he is relying on,” he said.
At a separate meeting, Jubilee Party vowed to win all the seats in the county to erode the perception that Busia is an Opposition zone.
Secretary General Julius Oboya said they are targeting over 150,000 votes as their contribution to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election in August.
“We have a team of credible candidates to win us all the seats. In the 2013 elections we managed two seats in Teso North and South and already Budalang’i constituency, which was once ODM’s stronghold, is supporting Jubilee,” he said after meeting hopefuls in Busia.
Mr Oboya added that the party will follow its constitution during primaries, to be held between April 17 and 21, to avert any fall out.
The party will name its county election board on Sunday.