, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 3 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga returned to the country on Thursday morning and demanded the resignation of Musalia Mudavadi as MP for Sabatia.
He said the law was clear that any lawmaker who quits one party for another must seek re-election.
“If you are the one who leaves the party, then you must also resign from your parliamentary seat. I did that when I was in Ford Kenya. The law is not new. When I resigned from the party, I let go of my parliamentary seat and I went back to the electorate and I was chosen again by Kenyans (as Langata MP),” he recalled.
Odinga went on to term Mudavadi’s exit from ODM as inconsequential.
He said his erstwhile ally should have stuck in the party and fought it out during the nominations stage.
“Now he is saying that he is being insulted and we are asking where all this was coming from. Who was insulting him and what kind (of insults) were they? It is like a hyena saying that it was insulted by a goat!” he said.
Odinga maintained that ODM would push ahead with controversial constitutional amendments that made Mudavadi walk out of the party.
“ODM will continue the process it had earlier embarked upon to change its constitution to allow open competition for the presidential ticket. I remain very confident that in the coming elections, Kenyans will choose change and reforms over status quo. We will choose hope and unity over fear and more divisions,” he said.
Mudavadi quit the Local Government Ministry and his position as deputy leader of the Orange Democratic Movement on Wednesday, and joined the United Democratic Forum (UDF) as his vehicle for the presidency.
He however announced that he would remain as a Deputy Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for Sabatia constituency for which he was elected on the ODM ticket.
He said that he chose UDF as it shares his aspirations and those of Kenyans.
He said he had decided to quit ODM following his belief that the party was becoming undemocratic.
Mudavadi insisted that he read a systematic plot by the party not to amend the constitution after the legal committee failed to meet and deliberate on the amendments and the fact that the party wanted to tie amendments to the Political Parties Act.
Lawmakers from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) allied to the Prime Minister also want him to relinquish the post of Deputy Prime Minister and that of Sabatia MP and seek fresh mandate from the electorate.
Led by Fisheries Minister Amason Kingi, the legislators said that following Mudavadi’s resignation he should cease to enjoy any of the privileges that came his way as a member of ODM.
Kingi insisted that the post of the deputy Prime Minister was ODM’s as a coalition partner and that the party will soon name the best placed person to succeed Mudavadi.
He dismissed claims by Mudavadi that ODM did not have democracy, saying that the DPM was involved in every decision that the party reached as it sought to amend its constitution.