By Athman Amran
Orengo said article six of the party constitution declares that the party leader is the automatic presidential candidate.
"I just pointed out that the party constitution is superior to the nomination rules," Orengo, who is also ODM legal advisor, told The Standard on Wednesday. He said if the party nominates a presidential candidate without amending the constitution, someone may challenge it in court.
He was reacting to an article in The Standard on Wednesday where he is said to have insisted during Monday ODM National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting that the clause makes Raila the presidential candidate without contest.
Kick out Ruto
Orengo said he did not declare Raila ODMâs automatic presidential candidate. This means Mudavadiâs fate on eligibility to contest the ODM presidential nominations would be determined by the legal committee and NEC members. Any amendments to the constitution would also have to be ratified by party National Delegates Conference.
Orengo refuted claims by ODM executive officer Janet Ongâera that the clause was inserted in the constitution to knock out Eldoret North MP William Ruto from contesting party presidential nominations.
He argued the amendment was done before the party NDC meeting, which Ruto also attended.
"If this was so Ruto would not have accepted the nomination as deputy party leader," Orengo said.
But Mudavadiâs spokesperson Kibisu Kabatesi insisted that the clause was inserted illegally. He added Orengoâs assertion that the party constitution should be amended does not contradict the DPMâs position.
"The DPM has beenclear that the party constitution has to be changed in line with the Constitution, the Elections Act, and the Political Parties Act and incorporate new structures of the party," Kabatesi said.