, NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 7 – The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) concluded a two day retreat on Saturday and adopted proposals to amend the party\’s constitution and strategies ahead of the 2012 elections.
The joint Parliamentary group and National Executive Council (NEC) adopted amendments to their constitution that will see the number of the council seats reduced.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, ODM Deputy Party Leader Musalia Mudavadi said the party will use the 47 counties to act as branches while the constituencies will act as sub branches.
"ODM embraces the new constitutional dispensation and is fully committed to the entrenched principals of sharing and devolution of power and the rule of law," Mr Mudavadi said.
During the two day retreat the party members approved and recommended to the National Governing Council (NGC) to ratify proposed amendments to the party\’s constitution in compliance with Kenyan Constitution.
While opening the retreat on Friday, Prime Minister Raila Odinga told MPs that the party plans to clearly stand out in the coalition government to defend its identity ahead of the elections.
Among the notable recommendations made by the joint PG and NEC members is the restructuring of the council with calls for making it leaner.
"To the best of my knowledge such recommendations are in the offing that we want a leaner NEC, but we await the ratification of the national governing council for that decision to take place," Mr Mudavadi said.
He said the party made the recommendations in an effort to improve the efficiency of decision-making.
The party also approved proposed restructuring of the party organs to devolve its functions and services to make them more effective and responsive to the needs of the party members.
During the two days, 71 out of 106 MPs attended with only 19 sending apologies. Notably absent were Rift Valley MPs allied to William Ruto who is currently at The Hague.
But during his opening remarks on Friday, the premier said recent meetings in Kipkelion, Kericho and Nandi, perceived as Mr Ruto\’s strongholds, showed that ODM was popular in the region.
The party is scheduled to hold its grassroots elections in December and national polls early next year.