, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 28 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has directed officials of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) who are aspiring for posts in the general election to relinquish their party posts within one month.
The ODM Party Leader said the early exit will ensure that party nominations are free, fair and transparent as officials will not influence the outcome of the nominations.
Odinga called for sobriety in the party as the country heads towards the general election.
“Party nominations are not war, they must be conducted in a peaceful and democratic manner befitting our party. Let’s fight with our votes and not physically; those who lose in the party nominations will be given other positions in an ODM government,” he said.
He further cautioned against use of abrasive language including chasing away members from the party or discouraging new members from joining the party.
The PM was speaking at the Nyayo National Stadium where he addressed aspiring candidates for various seats on an ODM ticket in the forthcoming elections and later ODM delegates from Nairobi.
“We can say that ODM is strong but we need to look at areas which are leaking so that we seal them. If we do not do that, then we will do double work in the future,” he stated.
He also warned aspirants against forcing their candidature on the people, and cautioned them that they risked being rejected at the polls.
Emphasising that it was only registered members who will be allowed to participate in the nominations; Odinga said registration of party members was ongoing adding that those who want to take part should register as soon as possible.
Alluding to last year’s party elections, Odinga conceded that there were some hiccups in some branches but said the party had moved with haste to address the issues. “We have sealed all leakages and the party is as strong as ever.”
He further dismissed reports that Starehe legislator Bishop Margaret Wanjiru had defected saying that she was still a member of ODM.
“She has personally assured me that she is a member of our party; let us not engage in unnecessary speculation about this issue,” he added.
The PM hit out at those who were suggesting that as a co principal in the coalition government he should retire with President Kibaki after the term of the coalition government ends saying he still had uncompleted work to do for Kenyans.