, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 8 – The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) National Elections Board says seven out of 89 applicants of various positions have not been cleared for failing to comply with the party laws.
The board Chairperson Judy Pareno however said the seven will be given a chance to explain themselves before the final decision is reached. Addressing journalists at the party headquarters, she also said that ODM has also formed a national appeal tribunal that will handle disputes arising from the process.
“Once we make our final decision on the above seven applicants we wish to state that in accordance to our election laws the party has put in place a national appeals tribunal that will handle any disputes arising from this process,” she said.
“The board also wishes to remind the candidates and delegates that they must adhere to the rules of the process and abide by the code of conduct as stipulated and signed by all candidates so as to ensure peaceful campaigning period.”
She also reiterated the board assurance that there was no preferred list of candidates saying all those who are competing have a fair ground.
“We once again want to confirm that we don’t have a secret list other than what we have kept on publishing and we guarantee that we shall conduct a free and fair election,” he said.
She has consistently maintained that her team was professional, impartial and dedicated to ensure that the elections are free and fair.
Pareno noted that, “the board is also satisfied by the preparations done so far by the National Secretariat of the party and the NDC planning committee.”
Party Leader Raila Odinga faces a phenomenal task of ensuring that ODM gets a strong leadership that represents the face of Kenya.
With 91 MPs, 11 Senators and 16 Governors, spread in all parts of the country, there are those who feel the national leadership of the party should be evenly distributed. A group of ‘Young Turks’ mostly comprising first-timer legislators, have called for an overhaul of the party leadership accusing the old guard of lacking fresh ideas to propel ODM to government.
The polls will be held at the Kasarani Sports Gymnasium where all the 26 positions from that of the Party Leader downwards will be contested.
On January 30, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero withdrew from vying for the party’s Vice Chairmanship position.
The Governor said he withdrew to give others a chance to vie for the post and indicated that he would support whoever is elected. He also asserted that he would remain loyal to the party and support all its endeavors.
“I have my reasons for withdrawing but the main one is that I want to give others a chance to vie for the post. You should not read a lot into it as I am still loyal to the party and will fully support it,” he said.
Others who have stepped down are; Senator Janet Ongera for Deputy Chairperson of the party, Ken Obura who wanted to become the party Secretary General.
Among the contestant is the current party leader Raila Odinga who will contest against Paul Simba Arati, the Dagoretti North Member of Parliament.