UDF nominations for Kakamega governorship failed to take off yesterday in Kakamega.
The party opted for a boardroom deal to pick the candidate in the March elections to avert a looming rivalry between Housing Minister Soita Shitanda and former Nyanza PC Paul Olando.
"We felt we would be limited on our decision to select a candidate and opted to leave the decision to the party National Elections Board, National Executive Council and the Political Council," said UDF elections co-ordinator for Western province Edward Omung'ala.
Olando had threatened to obtain court orders blocking the exercise, arguing that Shitanda had been time-barred in presenting his papers and should therefore be declared nominated unopposed.
Olando was summoned to Nairobi by the party top brass on Wednesday after he issued the threats.By yesterday, he was still locked up in meeting at the party headquarters.
Yesterday, Omung'ala said the three party organs would assess the aspirant's popularity, credibility and financial muscle to mount effective campaigns.
"We felt we would have been limited to only popularity if we subjected the two on nominations. We believe the board has credible men and women who can make the right choice for the party," he said.
"We are leaving our party philosophy of the principal of inclusiveness open because the government is big and has space for everyone," he said.
The party too failed to hold nominations for a senate candidate because Ikolomani MP Boni Khalwale is the only aspirant who has so far presented himself.
Meanwhile, the exercise delayed in Western region, with voting starting as late as 10.30 am due to delays in the arrival of materials from Nairobi.
"The delay has started late because the ballot boxes and voter registers arrives late and had to be sorted out before the exercise begun," said Omung'ala.
He said registers for Vihiga county were incomplete and additional lists were to be printed from a soft copy. He, however, said voting would stop at 5.00pm for transmission of results to the party headquarters.