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Ruto: UDA primaries were ‘peaceful and smooth’

Deputy President William Ruto says the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) primaries were smooth and peaceful.

In a statement on his Twitter account, Ruto, who is the UDA party leader, added the election exercise had attracted a record amount of candidates.

He wrote: “#UDADecides Voting in the 36 counties proceeding smoothly after the minor logistical challenges were dealt with. Congratulations to all our 5000 aspirants for being patient & peaceful. 888 elective seats are being contested. 49,811 election officials in 16,513 polling centers engaged.”

Despite the DP’s ‘peace’ claim, reports from around the country show the primaries were marred by chaos and claims of rigging.

In Embu for instance, rowdy youths burned UDA nomination materials.

“The party had promised us the updated register would have been used but that is not the case and this is not fair,” said former Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet who is gunning for the Elgeyo Marakwet governor’s seat.

In Narok South constituency, the UDA primaries were cancelled after furious locals blocked the release of voting materials citing a rigging plot by one of the four aspirants a move that affected other wards where locals were upbeat about voting.

In Bomet, the primary elections were marred by claims that some ballot papers were pre-marked. Some aspirants complained that some presiding officers took ballot materials to their homes and stayed with them overnight.

Senator aspirant Wilson Sossion, Dr John Mosonik and Bomet Central MP hopeful Joyce Korir were among the discontented party members.

And the primaries in Kimaeti ward, Bumula sub-county, Bungoma County turned ugly after some aspirants and their supporters engaged in a fistfight. Two of the aspirants were hospitalized with injuries

Party primaries are an electoral process in which voters elect their preferred candidate gunning for a particular seat from the party.