I will not rejoin ODM, Mudavadi tells CORD leader Raila Odinga

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Political differences between former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi have resurfaced as the two leaders battle for influence in Western ahead of the 2017 elections.

Mudavadi has differed sharply with Raila after the CORD leader asked him and former National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende to rejoin his Orange Democratic Movement ( ODM) party.

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Speaking during the Lake Region Agribusiness Conference at Vihiga Friends High School in Vihiga County on Thursday, Raila said the decision by the two leaders to quit the Orange party was ill-informed and extended an olive branch to them.

But Mudavadi has ruled out possibility of going back to ODM, saying conditions that led to his departure have not changed.

Raila, who is keen to consolidate support in his Nyanza and western strongholds also cautioned Mudavadi and Marende against forming new political movements, saying the bid will divide the Luhya votes and play into the hands of rival Jubilee alliance.

“We were with Musalia in 2007 and together we won an election. I gave him the position of deputy Prime Minister in the grand coalition Government, a position which was the second most in command in ODM,” said Raila.

Parties appetite

He promised to give Mudavadi a senior position in ODM if the latter rejoins the party. “Mudavadi was my deputy party leader in ODM. That position is still available if he wishes to come back,” said Raila. And to win back Marende who is seen to be inclined towards the ruling Jubilee side, Raila reminded him how “ ODM fought for him to become Speaker.”

Mudavadi parted ways with Raila in the run-up to the 2013 General Election and formed a new outfit while Marende began growing cold feet in ODM in 2014 and has been appointed chairman of the Kenya Power board by President Uhuru Kenyatta. “We gave Marende the position of Speaker when the people he is now praising (Jubilee alliance) supported Francis ole Kaparo for the same position,” said Raila.

The ODM leader further warned the two western kingpins against “the appetite of forming new political parties every electioneering period,” saying the act was dividing Luhya votes.

But Mudavadi said Raila did not give him position of Deputy Prime Minister as a token, saying he deserved it. Through his spokesman Kibisu Kabatesi, Mudavadi told Raila to avoid dragging “outsiders” into the woes in his party.

-standardmedia.co.ke

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