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Tussle renewed as ODM Party hold major meetings

18, Jun 2018

ODM leader Raila Odinga is in a fresh dilemma as Deputy President William Ruto exploits the former's handshake with President Uhuru Kenyatta to win support in Opposition zones. Some ODM legislators have cited the unity pact between Raila and Uhuru to court new political alliances that could undermine the party's influence in the lead up to the next General Election. Coast region, which has traditionally supported Raila, appears to have flipped in the face of Ruto’s offensive, with some of its key leaders declaring support for the DP's 2022 presidential bid while hiding behind the 'handshake' to insulate themselves from punishment by the party. There is growing unease within sections of ODM that had interpreted the handshake to mean co-option into Government, as was the case in the grand coalition government, but which has not happened, going by recent appointments to top State jobs. Today, Raila will lead ODM top brass in a crisis meeting that insiders say is aimed at forestalling perceived cracks within its ranks. Sources say there is growing concern within the outfit that some party officials and MPs are exploiting the rapprochement between Raila and Uhuru to cut political deals with Ruto against the party position. Some party officials are said to be pushing Raila to sanction punishment against the members, but Raila is said to be reluctant.