Raila says consensus key to avert fallout in Azimio


Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga during a meeting with UPYA Party members and North Eastern Leaders at Serena Hotel in Nairobi on January 19, 2022. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

ODM leader Raila Odinga has said that parties affiliated to Azimio la Umoja Movement will have to sacrifice their ambitions for the good of the budding coalition.

Mr Raila said coalition partners would try to strike a balance in picking candidates for various seats in certain regions.

Speaking when he met the leadership of North Eastern under the Upya Movement at a Nairobi hotel, yesterday, the ODM leader said there will be need for consensus as only one candidate can be elected to one post at a time.

This means there will be zoned counties to allow the parties to field candidates in areas where they think they have a strong following.

Raila hinted that parties will be restricted from presenting candidates for certain elective seats in favour of other outfits.

In this arrangement, Azimio would be divided, chiefly, into Jubilee-Azimio and ODM-Azimio et al should the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill, 2021, that is currently in the Senate, be passed and enacted into law to pave way for the Azimio la Umoja coalition party.

Raila assured that his government will accommodate everyone who supports Azimio and urged aspirants to work together. “We see so many aspirants for a certain position, why don’t we come together?” he said.

He said once the coalition Bill is passed by Parliament, it will open a window for more parties and individuals to join Jubilee and ODM so that they can vie under Azimio la Umoja Movement.

The ODM leader urged aspirants to remain in Azimio even if they lose in nominations.

“Just remain in the movement; don’t run away and go elsewhere to our enemies. We will have opportunities for everyone in my government,” Raila said.

He made the remarks after Upya Movement led by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani vowed to join Azimio ahead of the August polls.

Yatani said that after deliberations, it was affirmed that leaders from arid and semi arid lands rally behind the ODM leader’s presidential bid.

“We want to declare that this is where we have a stake and space at the high table,” he said, adding that their decision was also influenced by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“We will support you unconditionally. Our decision to rally behind you is driven by the president since the direction he has given us is one that shows us in whose hands we are safe in,” Yatani said.

Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo said they were sure of being part of the next government. “We have been second-class citizens of this country as far as decision-making is concerned and it is time to realign ourselves. We have done our research and there is no question about the presidential bid of Mr Raila,” Ms Dullo said.

Raila promised to transform north-eastern Kenya and address historical injustices if elected president. “These people talking about bottom-up. That is just a slogan; it is not an economic theory,” he said.