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ODM calls for grassroots party elections

POLITICS
By Judah Ben-Hur | July 28th 2021

ODM leader Raila Odinga in Murang'a County. July 27, 2021. [Ndungu Gachane, Standard]

ODM’s National Elections Board (NEB) has urged its supporters to register as members ahead of the party’s grassroots elections.

“All supporters are encouraged to register as members if they want to participate in the party grassroots elections as aspirants or voters. The membership registration is free at the moment,” read a statement by NEB.

In the event a vacancy arises in any of the current grassroots structures, NEB has advised its members to consult with them for guidance and a way forward in regard to filling them.

“No person or organ may proceed to fill any vacancy before consultations with, and agreement by NEB,” stated NEB.

The board has also called on all county offices to prepare for the polls by verifying their membership status, familiarising themselves with elections rules which can be accessed from the party’s website.

The move is a twist from an initial decision by the party to push the grassroots elections to 2022.

In May, ODM deputy party leader and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya said conducting party elections a year before the general election would be ill-advised.

Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

The elections were also initially scheduled for April 2021 but that too was aborted.

The NEB has also said although the term of party holders has expired, the officials will be expected, “to hold over until new officials are elected in line with the Political Parties Act, ODM constitution and party rules.”

“As they hold over they have the full mandates and authority of their offices and will continue carrying out their tasks as officeholders,” read a statement by NEB.

Members from counties have been asked to commence their own consultations, “to reach consensus on whom they should front as officials at all levels when NEB calls for the elections.”

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