ODM will amend contentious constitution in good time


The Orange Democratic Party wishes to put the record straight regarding statements that have been issued to the press following the submission of the party’s constitution to the Registrar of Political Parties in line with the Constitution of Kenya.

The ODM held its National Executive Committee (NEC) on April 4, 2012 and after lengthy but fruitful deliberations, it was resolved that the party would prioritise its compliance with Section 51 (1) (a) of the Political Party’s Act which requires all parties to be compliant within 180 days with effect from 1st November, 2011, failure to which the party risked deregistration.

It was on this understanding that the Party submitted its application for registration to the Registrar of Political Parties on April 10.

Acting on the resolution of NEC, ODM also gave the Registrar of Political Parties notice of the party’s intention, as required by section 20 (1) of the Political Parties Act, to amend Article 6.2.1 of ODM constitution in accordance to which the party leader becomes the automatic party’s presidential candidate.

Section 20 of Political Party’s Act requires parties to seek registration first before they become competent to amend their constitution or rules. This is so not only because the party must issue a notice of proposed amendment, the substance of the proposed amendment must also be published in the daily newspapers for public consultations before the desired changes can be effected.

Apart from the demands of the law, there is also the prescription of ODM constitution which lays the internal procedure of amending any provision of the constitution. Only the Party’s NDC which is the apex organ of the Party has the authority to change the constitution.

Article 7.3.3 of ODM constitution provides for a notice period of at least 21 days to hold a competent NDC.

So, even assuming that a notice was sent by 10th April, it would take up to May 2012 to get it right with the constitution. Where then would there be the opportunity to comply with party registration if the party were to wait till May? One therefore must wonder how a section of ODM members entertained the idea that the party could competently make amendments to its constitution without complying with sections 20 and 51 of the Act.

There have been sustained and deliberate attempts to misrepresent the party’s position on its nomination procedure, even when the party has accommodated views of some of its members who would want nomination conducted through a county based electoral college.

All efforts by those hell bent on destroying the party will be thwarted and their perpetrators rejected. As ODM we know who our real enemies are; and they are outside the party. This is why they would want to read into the law things which are unsupportable in law.

Hon Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o

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