By Standard Team
Prime Minister Raila Odinga maintained there was no scheme to deny his deputy Musalia Mudavadi a fair shot at ODMâs presidential nomination on a day the war of words between their aides intensified.
Raila said Mudavadi is still firmly in ODM and would participate in the presidential nominations. The PM declared nobody in ODM would get an automatic presidential ticket, adding the party would conduct nominations similar to what it did in 2007.
"I do not need automatic nomination as ODM presidential candidate. I welcomecompetition for the ticket," Raila said. The PM dismissed reports that Mudavadi was on his way out of ODM following differences over nomination for the presidential ticket. He spoke during the burial of Maria Sidi, 86, mother to Bahari MP Ben Gunda at Kizingo in Kilifi County, Friday.
"Mudavadi is just playing ball inside ODM. He is going to compete for the party presidential party ticket with me and I will back him if he wins," he said.
But even as the ODM leader maintained all was well, party Secretary General Anyangâ Nyongâo clashed with Mudavadiâs communications director Kibisu Kabatesi over the failure to amend the clause in the partyâs constitution decreeing the party leader is the automatic presidential nominee.
It began with a statement sent to newsrooms by Nyongâo and the Raila secretariat that apparently seemed to calm the hard-line position taken by Mudavadi over the submission of the partyâs constitution to the Registrar of Political Parties.
Nyongâo said it was only the National Delegates Conference (NDC) that had the powers to change the constitution and the earliest it could be done is next month.
He said the ODM constitution gives the procedure of amending any of its provision, adding that even if the party had sent out notice to hold an NDC, it would have taken a month, which would have seen the party deregistered.
"So, even assuming a notice was sent by April 10, it would take up to next month to get it right with the constitution. Where then would there be the opportunity to comply with registration requirements if the party were to wait till May? One wonders how some members entertained the idea that the party could competently make amendments to its constitution without complying with Sections 20 and 51 of the Act," said Nyongâo.
However, in a rejoinder ,Mudavadiâs camp termed as unfounded and unconvincing the reasons advanced by Nyongâo.
Kabatesi claimed the public has consistently been misled that what ODM did on Tuesday when officials presented registration application forms was merely to "file returns".