ODM set for grassroots elections - Beaking Kenya News

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Monday, 15 February 2021

ODM set for grassroots elections


The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) will hold party grassroots elections next month as it seeks to strengthen its position ahead of next year’s General Election.

The party’s secretary-general, Edwin Sifuna, told the Nation yesterday that the polls will be held between March and April.

“We shall also conduct a review of the election and nomination rules, mass member recruitment, equipping of county offices and opening of constituency offices,” he said. Applications for those seeking the party’s presidential ticket close this month, when it will become certain whether or not Mr Raila Odinga is in the race.

Membership registration and verification begins today for those either seeking to contest party positions or elect representatives.

In a public notice, the party’s National Elections Board chairperson, Catherine Mumma, said the membership registration will take place between February 15 and 21.

“The applicable registration fee is Sh100 for ordinary members. Persons who are already registered are also requested to verify their status,” states the notice.

“Take notice that only ODM members appearing in the register will be permitted to participate in the party grassroots elections as aspirants and voters.

Nasa coalition

“All ODM supporters and members wishing to participate in the elections are therefore urged to take this exercise seriously and register as members or verify their registration within the stipulated period.” 

ODM National Executive Committee (NEC) chaired by Mr Odinga had on Friday resolved that the party immediately begins grassroots polls in accordance with its Constitution.

ODM’s move is likely to unsettle its National Super Alliance (Nasa) partners – Mr Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper, Mr Musalia Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress (ANC) and Ford-Kenya, led by Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula.

The three have insisted that Mr Odinga should respect their 2017 pre-election pact and shelve ODM plans to field a candidate for the presidency.

However, Mr Sifuna insists that the agreement, which expires at the end of this Parliament’s term, only provided that ODM would not field a candidate in 2022 “if the coalition agreement is renewed”.

“We can therefore only discuss that matter if and when that happens,” Mr Sifuna said. The party’s Central Management Committee also resolved to insist on structured and formal negotiations with other partners in order to protect and advance its interests across the country.

Last month, ODM launched its 2022 presidential bid with calls for those interested in its ticket to file applications. Though Mr Odinga has not stated whether or not he will run, the former Prime Minister is seen as the favourite in the race for the party’s ticket.

Mr Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto, who has sought to portray himself as the frontrunner, are widely expected to slug it out for the top seat.

 ODM deputy party leaders Wycliffe Oparanya and Hassan Joho have sought the party’s sponsorship to vie for the presidency. The two second-term governors have separately asked Mr Odinga to support them.

They have until February 26 to submit their applications.


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