Raila calls for talks over ODM ‘rebels’

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ODM REBELSODM leader Raila Odinga has called for crisis talks today with a top party committee over the participation
of defectors in grassroots elections.

Several people who abandoned the party in
the 2013 general election have expressed interest in rejoining it, a move resisted by party members.

The 12-member Central Management Committee will meet to resolve the impasse, a senior team member told the
Star yesterday on condition of anonymity.

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Party members have disagreed on whether
the defectors, branded as rebels, should be accommodated and allowed to seek
leadership positions.

ODM postponed its first batch of elections in Marsabit, Wajir, Kajiado, Migori, Kilifi and Vihiga
counties from July 31 to between August 20 and
September 2

In Nairobi county, the elections will be held from September 5 to 8.

MPs loyal to Raila, especially from
his Nyanza stronghold, have also questioned
the loyalty of the returnees.

Raila has said the returnees are welcome but they must prove their loyalty.

“The defectors had abandoned ODM and joined
Cord affiliates,” Raila told Mayienga FM’s morning talk show on Tuesday.

“Others joined Jubilee parties and have been seen opposing
party initiatives. They are no longer trusted because they can join our enemies
anytime.”

A section of leaders, backed by ODM
secretary general Ababu Namwamba, say the defectors should be
accommodated.

“ODM has started a new journey and we shall not chase away anybody from the
party because we need them all,” he said.

Howver, ODM National Elections Board chairperson Judy Pareno has said only those who rejoined one year before the grassroots elections
will be allowed to vie for positions.

Yesterday the Star established that the meeting will also resolve a dispute
surrounding the sanctity of the membership register.

There have been claims that the register was tampered with in the run-up to the botched 2013 National Delegates Convention.

“The elections board has not deleted
names of those who have died or those who flatly defected to other competing
parties,” a senior ODM official said yesterday.

– the-star.co.ke

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