NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 6 – The National Executive Committee of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) on Monday failed to agree on the mode of nominating its presidential candidate and instead deferred the decision to another meeting to be held later this month.
Addressing a press conference attended by Party Leader Raila Odinga and his Deputy Musalia Mudavadi, ODM Secretary General Anyang’ Nyong’o said Monday’s meeting had perused a report prepared by the party’s legal committee and deferred the decision on the matter until all members of the council studied it.
“The NEC received the report on the proposed amendments to the nomination rules, as directed by the National Governing Council in 2010. The NEC resolved to study them at the next meeting,” said Nyong’o.
Mudavadi chaired the initial part of the meeting and later handed over to Odinga who arrived after an official visit to Uganda earlier in the day.
The matter has seen intense rivalry between the supporters of Odinga and Mudavadi over which mode to use for selecting the party’s flag bearers.
Mudavadi’s supporters are demanding that nominations be held through a collegiate system at the county level and not the National Delegates Conference as had been pushed by the PM’s allies.
Mudavadi’s camp argues that voting at the county level has wider representation of party members.
They say a national delegates’ conference will accommodate fewer delegates from across the country as they would need to be transported and accommodated in Nairobi.
The party’s legal committee proposed three options for picking the candidate.
One option is the use of a National Electoral College comprising 5,249 members, including all the 27 NEC members, MPs, members of the party’s Standing Committee, 20 members from each county representing the Orange Young Democrats, and an equal number to represent the Orange Women Democrats.
The proposal also includes 20 mainstream delegates from every branch Executive Committee and eight delegates from all the 290 sub-branches.
The second option is the County Electoral College which recommends that 60 Location or Ward Steering Committee officials converge at a central place in every Constituency to constitute an Electoral College, and elect their presidential candidate.
Under the universal suffrage option, the committee proposes that all ODM members converge at their sub-location levels to pick their preferred presidential candidate.
Meanwhile, the ODM National Executive Committee has rejected President Mwai Kibaki’s memorandum on the now controversial County Governments Bill, saying the party is fully committed to genuine devolution of power.
President Kibaki declined to give assent to the Bill arguing that it was unconstitutional since it transfers the stipulated functions of the national government to the county government.
Parliament had passed the Bill with proposals that provincial administrators including District Commissioners, Division Officers and Chiefs, report to County governors so that they could be absorbed into the new county systems.
The Speaker of the National Assembly has referred the president’s memorandum to the House Justice and Legal Affairs Committee.