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ODM releases calendar for primaries as debate for joint nominations rages

By Geoffrey Mosoku | March 11th 2017
ODM party leader Raila Odinga

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has released its timetable for nominations that will be held next month.

ODM announced that the nationwide exercise will run from April 1 to 22, according to a schedule released yesterday.  In each county, ODM will pick its candidates to vie for seats in the county assembly and National Assembly, including woman's reps, on the same day that it will pick candidates to vie for the governorship and the senate.

Thousands of hopefuls will now battle it out for the party ticket ahead of the August 8 General Election, with Turkana and Kakamega being the first counties to hold the primaries on April 1.

Bungoma and Busia will follow on April 3 before Siaya and Trans Nzoia hold theirs on the fifth.

ODM primaries in Mombasa and Samburu are scheduled for April 7; Migori and Nyamira on the 9th, Narok and Kisii on the 11th, while Kisumu and Vihiga will do the nominations on the 13th.

Nominations in Kilifi and Tana River will be on the 15th, followed by primaries in Kajiado and Taita Taveta (April 17), Homa Bay and Lamu (April 19), Nakuru Uasin Gishu and Kwale (April 21), while Makueni, Nairobi and Garissa will hold the exercise on April 22.

ODM National Elections Board chairperson Judy Pareno said the party had issued a 21-day notice as stipulated by the law for aspirants to prepare for the primaries.

Incidentally, the party did not give its schedule for holding primaries in the Jubilee strongholds of Mt Kenya and the Rift Valley.

Pareno said the party has been overwhelmed by a number of people seeking its ticket in 26 counties, while 21 counties received an underwhelming response. "In areas like Mt Kenya and some parts of Rift Valley where the party is not strong, we will  issue direct nominations but in our strongholds, we shall hold open nominations," she said, adding that the party will use secret ballot.

"We will soon announce the date for issuing direct nominations in the areas where we have a single candidate."

Although affiliate NASA parties such as Wiper and Ford Kenya have indicated their wish not to participate in joint primaries, ODM says its programme is not final and will be adjusted should the parties strike a deal on areas to conduct the joint exercise. "This is subject to adjustment as we await a final decision by NASA's constituent parties."

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