Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Should ODM have National Delegates Council or County level nominations?

ODM party leader Raila Odinga and his deputy Musalia Mudavadi  PHOTO/Courtesy  
At last the Orange Democratic Party has submitted their registration and the contentious old constitution at the registrar of political parties.
The party’s delegation led by Prof Anyang Nyong’o the Secretary General was received by the registrar Lucy Ndung’u albeit with the amendments championed by Musalia Mudavadi being left out.
According to Nyong’o and the party’s National Executive council (NEC) the party had agreed to change the clause which gives the party leader a direct presidential nomination and check how the choice of the presidential aspirant be done at Kasarani or county level.
As the party still grapple with their ‘internal democracy’ over this issue sober considerations should be taken after checking out the views from both sides, PM and Party Leader Raila’s and DPM and Deputy Party Leader Mudavadi’s.
According to proponents of the county method, ODM was the first party in the country to bring about the call of devolution which was the main issue that delayed the current constitution to be passed and was a major issue in the referendum vote that ushered it in.
This leaders led by Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito, Funyula MP and Minister of Youths and Sports Paul Otuoma, and Khamisi Mp and  Information Assistant Minister   He added that devolution was brought by ODM in the constitution as they should not leave George Khaniri see devolution as “ODM’s ‘baby’ which should not be dropped now”.
They also want more delegates, 60, to be involved in the voting process while at Kasarani there is a likelihood of about 20 from the 47 counties in the country to be locked because, according to Khaniri, “time used for voting and travelling will take about four days with some delegates from far counties unable to make it. The county elections the over seen by the IEBC will increase party participation”.
Their biggest boast, and what is not seen by people supporting Raila, is that flawed nominations will risk the party losing candidates. Candidates like Makadara MP Mike ‘Sonko’ Mbuvi, POA’ s Raphael Tuju amongst others left the party over flawed elections.
Khaniri gave the example of how KANU broke down when former president Daniel Arap Moi endorsed Uhuru Kenyatta as the 2002 presidential candidate. At KANU’s Kasarani delegates meeting it was common of MP’s to come with their delegates only to be told their ‘registered’ members were already in.
 “Nominations were the biggest change in the past elections as ODM members who felt slighted by the nomination process left and ended up winning in other parties” Kizito said adding that as Raila supporters are afraid of their man slighted so is the feeling in Mudavadi camp which has to be addressed adequately.
Lastly, they say by giving the presidential candidate ticket to the party leader directly there is fear of locking out other aspirants from carrying their constitutional right. By changing the rules it will check the clause in future.
Meanwhile, Raila’s camp sees the call of  change in this dying parts of the campaign as a suspect for other defectors and his opponents to use Mudavadi as a Trojan horse to wreck the ‘most popular party in the country’ from within.
As most opponents are fighting Raila there is fear of using ‘professional delegates’ from former ODM stronghold turned risky like Rift Valley and Central/ Eastern to push Mudavadi’s supporters in the ballot.
The two have taken a middle ground on the use of IEBC to officiate the voting, but this fear in Raila’s camp is so real with the fear of ‘anti-reformers’ and ‘KANU’s orphans’ ganging up
“We are lucky for ODM to have given birth to ‘twins’, but there is risk of the two bringing the party to its knees especially as their feud is seen as a war and not democracy. This poor image goes on to make defectors to gloat over the party and find a way to wreck it from within” A delegate in Migori said when Mudavadi made a stop in the county, his 41st.
Manuel Odeny ©2012

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