Why ODM’s Sumra conceded defeat halfway in Embakasi South mini-poll

Why ODM’s Sumra conceded defeat halfway in Embakasi South mini-poll

ODM party candidate in the Embakasi South mini-poll Irshad Sumra conceded defeat before results from half of the polling stations were announced.

Sumra blamed his defeat on poor organisation during campaigns but assured residents that he would work with the new MP Julius Mawathe.

In May 2017, ODM aspirants claimed that the issuance of certificates was characterised by back-door deals.

The ODM national elections board was put on the spot over allegations of extortion in the issuance of nomination certificates.

The political party’s disputes tribunal was told that Embakasi South MP Irshad Sumra was part of a cartel that has been colluding with senior party officials to issue certificates to the highest bidder.

On Saturday morning, Mawathe told Citizen Digital that the Jubilee party supported him which is why they did not field their own candidate.

Mawathe who vied on a Wiper Party ticket was declared winner of the Embakasi South by-election with 21,628 votes.

Sumra emerged a distant second with 7,988 votes.

Mawathe vied on a Wiper ticket after party leader Kalonzo Musyoka handed him a direct nomination.

This despite the Raila Odinga-led ODM party urging Wiper not to field a candidate in the spirit of their partnership in the National Super Alliance (NASA).

The Embakasi South seat fell vacant after the Supreme Court nullified the election of Mawathe on grounds that he was not validly elected.

A confident ODM Secretary General Edward Sifuna had told the Wiper party to expect a tough battle on Friday.

However, following the party’s defeat in Embakasi South and Ugenya by-elections, pundits are now questioning whether the ODM candidates were poorly chosen.

Sumra’s revelation on poorly done campaigns may also have exposed the party’s underbelly.

Report by Erick Omondi, Stephen Letoo, Vincent Mangeti and Patrice Sambili

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