NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 20- The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) is set to advertise for the presidential candidate’s post as it repositions itself for the 2022 election.
The decision is seen as part of the party’s strategy to sell itself as a democracy after criticism in the past over the nominations fiasco.
It means even party leader Raila Odinga who has set his eyes on the prize will apply to be considered to fly the party’s flag.
“The National Elections Board is directed to immediately begin the process of identifying the Party’s Presidential candidate for purposes of the 2022 election by inviting those interested to express their interest,” the party’s Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna said Wednesday, “The board shall cause an advertisement to this effect to be carried in both print and electronic media within the next 3 days.”
Odinga lately intensified public meetings and is so far seen as the only serious presidential candidate with Deputy President William Ruto who recently unveiled a new party, United Democratic Alliance (UDA) following wrangles in the ruling Jubilee party which has edged him from key decision-making processes.
On Wednesday, Sifuna said ODM will fill all vacant positions in the grassroots level through a democratic process.
It is also keen to formalise cooperation with other partners and allies.
ODM is in partnership with the ruling Jubilee party following the March 2018 handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Odinga.
“That in order to protect and advance the interests of the Party across the country the Central Committee shall forthwith insist on structured and formal negotiations with partners and allies on all matters,” he said.
Asked whether the move will compromise the Building Bridges Initiative, whose referendum is due in June, Sifuna said the party cannot afford to waste further time since the election date is only next year.
The party has also demanded a share in Nairobi County leadership and wants the position of a Deputy Governor slotted for ODM.
“The party has been instrumental in bringing Nairobi to track,” he said.
Sifuna was accompanied by Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya who is also the party’s National Chairman, legislators John Mbadi (Suba South), Junet Mohammed (Suna East), Gladys Wanga (Homabay MP) and Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja).
Also present was Senator James Orengo and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho.