Speaking on Citizen TV on Tuesday, April 13, Wiper National Election Board (NEB) Chairperson, Agatha Solitei, stated that the party will conduct the primaries in the area or go for consensus should one of the two aspirants cede some grounds.
She maintained that Sonko was still an aspirant and the party had submitted his name to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for clearance.
Solitei disputed reports that the party had already issued the direct ticket to Sonko, arguing that the party had not yet settled on a candidate.
‘We submitted his (Sonko’s) name to IEBC on April 9 for the Mombasa gubernatorial position. We do have another aspirant who is the Kisauni Member of Parliament, Ali Mbogo, who has submitted his papers for the gubernatorial contest,” she explained.
The Wiper election’s board boss explained that it would be against the party constitution to issue a direct ticket without consensus among the candidates where more than one individual have expressed interest in a position. Wiper will hold its primaries in Mombasa County on Wednesday, April 13.
Solitei went ahead to state that the gubernatorial primaries in Mombasa remained indefinitely suspended to give space for consultations among the aspirants.
“We have two of them and we are in consultation with them and we are trying to reach a consensus. If we do not reach an agreement then we shall go for the contest,” she stated.
The NEB chairperson’s statement echoed Secretary-General, Shakila Abdalla’s sentiments that the party was negotiating with the two aspirants to pick the best candidate to face off with the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidates.
â€œAs a party, we have our ways of sitting our members down. Right now we are in the negotiated democracy driveâ€¦ If there is a way we can convince one of them to step down in favour of the other it will be better. But if negotiated democracy fails to succeed, then our next option will be nominations,â€ stated Shakila.
On the other end, ODM chairman and Suba South Member of Parliament, John Mbadi, disclosed that the party was holding talks to issue a direct ticket to one of its main contenders.
Those seeking the ODM ticket are Mvita MP, Abdulswamad Nassir Shariff, and businessman Suleiman Shahbal. Mbadi stated that opinion polls indicated that one of the candidates was more popular, however, he did not reveal the name.
“In Mombasa, our opinion polls have tended to take the same trajectory (opinion polls) and the gap is so big. We are trying to persuade one of our candidates to just accept that the other candidate is more popular. If we reach a dead end we will go to the polls just as in Mombasa,” he stated