, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 10 – Allies of Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi on Tuesday skipped the presentation of Orange Democratic Movement’s papers to the Registrar of Political Parties.
ODM Chairman Henry Kosgey was also absent at the event, that was led by party Secretary General Anyang’ Nyong’o.
Nyong’o notified the registrar that the party will amend its contentious constitution soon, to repeal a clause that stipulates that the party leader is the automatic presidential candidate in a general election.
“The party intends to further amend article 6(2) 1 of the constitution – the election and nomination rules. The proposals will then be submitted to the National Governing Council and to the National Delegates Convention for requisite ratifications,” Nyong’o said in a letter to the registrar.
Mudavadi has been pushing for the repeal of the clause that gives party leader Raila Odinga automatic nomination and wanted it amended before ODM handed over its documents to the registrar of political parties.
On Monday, Odinga dismissed reports that the party was applying for registration with the old constitution to lock out Mudavadi from challenging him for the party’s presidential ticket, saying that it was not easy to quickly change the party’s constitution.
He explained: “To change the constitution the changes have to go through the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), the Governing Council and the Special National Delegates Conference before they are implemented.” The PM assured that the party will still make the desired changes before elections are held, adding that the party had no intention of locking anyone intending to vie for any position on the party ticket in the forthcoming general elections.
“I don’t fear party nominations; I’m not at war with Mudavadi, neither has he been duped as alleged in media reports. We shall follow the laid down rules before the changes are implemented,” he said insisting that ODM would remain united after the presidential nominations are held.
When contacted, Vihiga MP Yusuf Chanzu who is a supporter of Mudavadi said that he had received an invitation but that it was not mandatory for party members to accompany the secretary general in handing over the party lists for verification. He maintained that the move to deposit the old constitution at the registrar’s office was premature and that the party should have waited for the report of the legal committee tasked to look into the nomination rules and report this week.
He said: “Nyongo’s letter obviously represents one side; it does not also represent the feeling of Mudavadi. The contestants for the presidential nominations should have signed an agreement on the way forward.”
“We know in the history of our politics the danger of not having written and signed agreements which have third parties as witnesses,” he added.
Nyong’o also petitioned the registrar to take action on ‘phantom’ parties he said had flouted the law by irregularly registering about 10,000 ODM members without their knowledge. According to Nyong’o, ODM registered the minimum number of required members in 35 counties including six counties in marginalised areas.
Earlier on Tuesday, the registrar received papers from the New Ford Kenya party where Justice Minister Eugene Wamalwa declared that the April 30 registration deadline for political parties would not be extended.
“As the minister responsible I would like to reiterate that the deadline is real. The law is very clear; if you ignore it you do so at your own peril. April 30 is the deadline and it will not be extended,” said Wamalwa who was accompanied by party leader Soita Shitanda and Ikolomani MP Boni Khalwale.