Raila seeks new rules for ODM polls

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Raila+0310The Orange Democratic Movement will change its nomination rules in a bid to end wrangles in election years.

Party leader Raila Odinga on Friday announced that primaries will be held a year to the General Election to create time to resolve disputes.

This will also give unpopular candidates time to jump ship if they so wish, Mr Odinga said in Kanyuor village, Migori County during the burial of Mzee Nelson Onyango, the father of his spokesman Dennis Onyango.

Mr Odinga said the Orange party experienced a lot of internal revolt in the run up to the 2013 elections due to rushed nominations.

“We had no time to correct the anomalies and this pushed popular candidates, who are our members, to get elected on other party tickets,” he said amid cheers.

“I remember floating the idea in a party meeting before the polls but MPs shot it down. They argued that losers would get adequate time to defect but this time I am going to stand firm and primaries will be conducted 12 months before every General Election.”

Mr Odinga said members of the Orange party did not like “the way we conducted our nominations and others felt cheated and this caused us some seats”.

During the last polls, “popular losers” from ODM moved to other parties and won in the subsequent General Election.

‘BOUGHT CERTIFICATES’

The nomination storm was kicked off by the Migori Governor Okoth Obado who demanded that people’s wishes be respected by the party.

“We are all in ODM but we want the playing ground to be level for everybody. We must allow internal democracy to flourish,” he said.

Mr Obado who was elected on a Peoples Democratic Party ticket after losing the Orange nominations to Prof Edward Oyugi, said some people in Nyanza had perfected the art of buying nomination certificates from Orange House during primaries.

Baba (father) help us remove this bad and unethical practice from the party. Certificates should be given to popular candidates not highest bidders,” said Mr Obado amid applause.

DEVOLUTION UNDER THREAT

On the referendum, Mr Odinga said continued skewed distribution of public resources and jobs had strengthened their resolve to push on with the plebiscite.

He said devolution was under threat from people who opposed the new Constitution and all Kenyans must stand up to defend it.

“We are going to the referendum no matter what they say. We are focused on how to develop all regions, irrespective of political allegiance of a community,” Mr Odinga said.

The Jubilee administration, he added, always urges all Kenyans to pay taxes but only a few are favoured during distribution of public funds.

Mr Odinga demanded that all land issues be handled by the County Land Boards and the National Land Commission and “not the busybodies appointed to interfere with the sensitive and emotive subject”.

He announced that Cord will not participate in the next polls with the current IEBC as constituted.

“We will not participate in another sham election and this time we are more than serious,” he said.

The Cord leader said devolution had saved Kenyans from “sending delegations to State House to beg for goodies” and called for protection of devolved units.

Mr Obado complained to Mr Odinga that deputy Minority Leader in the National Assembly Jakoyo Midiwo and Siaya Senator James Orengo were interfering with his administration.

“They have colluded with some unpopular leaders to undermine me and my administration. Help me tame these guys,” he pleaded.

Suba MP John Mbadi, Suna West MP Joseph Ndiege and Homa Bay County MP Gladys Wanga told national government leaders to stop bothering governors to account for money given to them when their administration was “stinking of graft, nepotism and inefficiency”.

They told the Jubilee administration to first account for public funds they have collected from Kenyans.

The two leaders also demanded increased security for Mr Odinga in the wake of the Kwale clobbering.

Mr Odinga claimed his attacker was sent by somebody, saying: “I am now going to deal with the sender.”

-nation.co.ke

Cord leader Raila Odinga and his wife Ida console Mr Dennis Onyango, the politician’s communications director, at Ageng’a Village in Nyatike, Migori County, during the burial of his father on October 3, 2014. PHOTO | DENISH OCHIENG

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