ODM Wrangles: Now its Raila Vs Mudavadi

Written By Michael Maunda on Sunday, February 5, 2012 | 11:08 PM

ODM leaders from three counties on Sunday demanded cancellation of presidential nominations to allow Prime Minister Raila Odinga to automatically become the party’s flag-bearer in the next General Election.

The leaders also asked Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi to shelve his presidential ambitions and support Mr Odinga to take on the G7 Alliance candidate.

The leaders and delegates from Kajiado, Narok and Laikipia counties warned that the contest between the PM and Mr Mudavadi was causing confusion and could split the party.

Cabinet minister William ole Ntimama, assistant minister John Nkaissery and veteran politician John Keen described the Sabatia MP’s bid for the ODM presidential ticket as hypocrisy.

“This is not democracy but hypocrisy, which allowed enemies to enter the party and poke holes in it.

“We don’t want infighting. The only person who will vie for the presidency in ODM is Raila Amollo Odinga,” Mr Ntimama said.

However, Mr Odinga downplayed the rivalry between him and Mr Mudavadi, saying primary elections were internal matters and that the party does not want to allow its enemies to take advantage of the nominations to infiltrate it.

“We know the enemy, we can’t be eaten by the enemy,” he said.

The PM was meeting delegates from the three counties at Maasai Lodge in Kajiado North constituency in his bid to win their support for the party’s presidential nominations. He was accompanied by Public Service minister Dalmas Otieno.

The nominations have caused a row in the party, with Mr Odinga’s allies saying they should be conducted at the national delegates conference while Mr Mudavadi, who is also the Local Government minister, prefers the selection to be carried out at the county level. 

Countrywide campaign
The demand to skip the nominations comes in the wake of an aggressive countrywide campaign by Mr Mudavadi, who has remained loyal to the PM, which has caused anxiety in the party.
On Sunday, the leaders said as ODM’s “president”, Mr Odinga should be the party’s automatic presidential candidate for the next General Election, with Mr Ntimama describing Mr Mudavadi’s candidature as amounting to hypocrisy.

Mr Nkaissery, who is also the party deputy secretary-general, and Mr Otieno warned that the contest between the PM and the Deputy PM was dividing the party. 

“Even in the US, Obama cannot be challenged for the Democrats ticket. If you are the president of the party, you cannot be opposed,” said Mr Nkaissery.
Daily Nation