, NAIROBI, Kenya May 9 – Grassroots elections for the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) which have been postponed twice will now be held at the end of this month.
The party\’s National Election Board Secretary Joseph Misoi said ODM would hold the polls from May 27 to May 31.
The elections were initially slated for March 29 to 31 with the National Delegates Conference (NDC) scheduled for April 18 but they were postponed due to internal party rifts.
The board then settled on a new date of April 2 and 5 for the grassroots polls, but without announcing a date for the NDC. This too, failed to take off.
Dr Misoi said on Monday that the polls will now take place over four days across all sub-branches, constituencies and counties where the party has registered supporters.
The elections will begin at the location level between May 27 and 28, then constituency level on May 29, and eventually the counties on May 30.
"All branch officials and party members involved in membership recruitment and registration are hereby directed to return provisional membership registers from their branches for vetting and scrutiny by May 20," Dr Misoi said.
He further said polls for the youth and women organs of the party would also be conducted during the period to ensure the party structures were realigned to conform to the changes the country realised in recent times.
Elections for youth and women organs would be conducted between 10am and noon, while the main polls are to be held from 2pm in all centres. The grassroots elections will give way to the National Delegates Conference later in the year.
The expected elections will see the country\’s most dominant political party heavily restructured, with the 210 branches replaced by 47 branches modelled on the boundaries of the 47 counties proposed under the new Constitution.
"ODM aims to spread its wings into all the Counties of Kenya irrespective of where it has support or not," he said.
Dr Misoi said the forthcoming grassroots elections will be used to gauge the true ODM members and supporters adding that it must now constitute itself into a strong, formidable and popular political party in Kenya.
"These grassroots elections are very important indicators and testimony that ODM is the only forward looking national, democratic and reformist party in full compliance with the provisions of the new Constitutional dispensation in the Second Republic," he said.
The election board called for an end to political feuds within the party branches saying it impacts negatively on the party especially the goodwill it has amongst the people of Kenya.
"The recruitment of members will however continue up to and until election time when the Returning Officers will compile the registers and close the process," Dr Misoi said.
The party said: "The vision of ODM is to build National Leadership based on the 47 County Governments as opposed to the selfish tribal coalitions which have created havoc in Kenya since independence."