Raila calls crisis meeting to avert ODM party fallout

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ODM party leader Raila Odinga is tomorrow expected to hold a crisis meeting to avert a possible fallout from the party rebels who have threatened to ditch the party.

ODM is set to hold its election on February 28 but it has been facing major challenges containing two factions pulling in separate directions within the party.

Raila is expected to meet all the party candidates as attention this week, turns to the delegates list with the campaigns entering homestretch.

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In tomorrow’s meeting whose agenda is mainly dominated by the upcoming elections, Raila will seek to iron out issues that have been raised by disgruntled leaders. They seek to reach a deal that will allow them remain in ODM after the party elections this month.

Complaints that individuals at the secretariat are interfering with delegates list particularly from the Rift Valley have also been coming out.

Among those who have complained is ODM coordinator and former nominated councilor Ronald Ngeny and former ambassador Tabitha Seii.

They complain that the individuals want to weed out from the list those delegates perceived to posses direct access to Raila in the Rift Valley. They also complained that some delegates are being influenced who to vote for but the NEC has ordered the list be presented this week for scrutiny.

The party will also be reviewing the possible postponement of the elections which has been proposed by a section of party members.

On Saturday, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero asked Raila to consider postponing the scheduled ODM elections. In his argument, Kidero said that the much anticipated elections is posing the danger of splitting the party.

“I plead with Odinga to defer the elections to a later date and embark on the process to unite the party before conducting the exercise,” Kidero said. The party is not currently united following the emergence of camps calling for support of various candidates.

Homa Bay senator Otieno Kajwang and Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba will be meeting for the first time after the Naivasha incident where Namwamba was forced to walk out of the meeting when Kajwang allegedly called him Jubilee mole.

On Monday last week,the duo exchanged bitter words in front of Raila in a Naivasha retreat. The former prime minister is also reported that he will appeal to party members to agree on a compromise list of those to vie for various post.

The position of secretary General and that of minority chief whip in the National Assembly has been contagious with Coast mps threatening to ditch the party if Kilifi North mp Gideon Mung’aro is striped of the position.

On Thursday Raila was force to hold a closed door meeting with Coast mps at Crowne Plaza hotel at Upper Hill in Nairobi where he assured them that the party will not replace Mung’aro. Raila is reported to have told the MPs that he will asked the party tomorrow “not to push for his removal”

Yesterday Kisauni Mp Rashid Bedzimba said they presented their demands to the party leader and they expect the same to be ratified tomorrow. “We had a fruitful meeting and the parliamentary meeting is set for Tuesday (tomorrow)”Bedzimba said in an sms.

Some ODM members have been pushing for Mung’aro to be kicked out on allegations that he working with Jubilee but the Coast MPs had threatened to impose dire political consequences on the party if Mung’aro is replaced.

While Raila seems to prefer nominated senator Agnes Zani for the position of Secretary General,his close allies and Lieutenants on the other hand prefers Namwamba.

Last week MPs Ken Obura (Kisumu Central), Augustino Neto (Ndiwa), Kenneth Ogoth (Kibra), David Ochieng (Ugenya), George Oner (Rangwe), Silvance Osele (Kasipul Kabondo) and Millie Odhiambo said will drum up support for Namwamba in the elections.

Also Coast MPs have vowed to draw their weight behind Namwamba a position seen to be putting Raila at crossroads.

Ugunja MP Opiyo wandayi who is contesting the deputy secretary general position said the hallmark of the meeting will be consensus.

He said it was important to adopt this understanding and avoid going the whole hog of a secret ballot that will consume a lot of time for the over 27 positions being contested by 87 candidates cleared by the party.

“As a party we want to encourage consensus as we head to the elections. And it must be understood that there are no factions in the ODM campaigns because what each candidate is doing is so because of the interest of the party,” Wandayi spoke on phone from Mombasa where he is seeking the support of the Coast delegates.

“Every party member who is contesting must be prepared to sacrifice ambition for the good of the party. Whoever remains adamant or feels that sense of entitlement for his or her position, I want to tell him or her that the party is bigger than an individual,” said Wandayi.

Eldas MP Adan Keynan who will be competing against Kajwang’ for the deputy chairman position said he was ready to work with those who will be elected to strengthen the party.

“It is important that the party conducts the elections in a fair and free manner so that committed leaders are given the opportunities to rejuvenate the party as well as serve members for their own benefit. The interests of the party members who are the custodian come first in the democratic expansion,” Keynan said yesterday on the phone.

 

– the-star.co.ke

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