NAIROBI, Kenya, April 1 – Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and his Mombasa counterpart Ali Hassan Joho have expressed interest to vie for the 2022 presidential election under the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party ticket.
The chairperson of the party’s National Elections Board Catherine Mumma confirmed that the three were the only ones who submitted applications before the March 31 deadline which was an extension from the initial February 26 deadline.
“On January 21, 2021, the National Elections Board sent out a notice declaring the commencement of the process of nomination for ODM presidential candidate, we wish to inform our members that as of the close of the deadline, Joho, Ali Hassan, Odinga Raila Omolo and Oparanya Wycliffe Ambetsa had submitted their applications in the prescribed manner,” the party said through a statement.
Odinga has previously been the party’s presidential flagbearer raising questions on whether the party can allow another contestant to take the lead.
This comes at a time when other 2022 alignments are taking shape with the formation of One Kenya Alliance which consists of FORD Kenya, KANU, Wiper, and Amani National Congress (ANC) parties.
The new alliance which brings together Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetangula, Kalonzo Musyoka and Gideon Moi’s parties is seen to counter Odinga’s influence, accusing him of breaking pre-election pacts.
The Odinga-led party said the board will scrutinize the three applications, vet the candidates as required by the party rules.
“The NEB shall scrutinize the three applications, vet the candidates as required by the ODM Elections and Nomination rules and subsequently thereto announce the next processes and timetable in accordance with the ODM Constitution,” the party said.