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ODM postpones primaries in Mombasa, Kilifi counties to allow for consultations

ODM Leader Raila Odinga with Mvita MP Abdulswamad Sharrif Nassir, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and Mombasa politican Suleiman Shahbal during Azimio la Umoja rally at Bamba Sokoni grounds in Kilifi County on February 19, 2022. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has postponed party primaries for Mombasa and Kilifi counties.

The party in a statement on Saturday said the move is meant to enable the conclusion of ongoing consultations and consensus-building.

The party primaries for Kilifi and Mombasa were scheduled to take place next week on April 5 and April 6 respectively.

“The National Elections Board will communicate the outcome of the consultations and consensus-building and advice on the next steps,” the party said.

“We urge our members to exercise patience in the meantime.”

Political heavyweights

ODM has a strong following in the two coastal counties and it is expected that consensus-building is a way of averting possible fallouts from political heavyweights ahead of the August 9 General Election.

In Mombasa, Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir and businessman Suleiman Shahbal have in recent months intensified the fight for the party’s ticket for the governor seat.

Both ODM Party Leader Raila and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho have repeatedly stated that they will not endorse any candidate.

In Kilifi County, Devolution Chief Administrative Secretary Gideon Mung’aro and Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi are also battling for the ODM ticket.

Reports also indicate that Kenya’s High Commissioner to Tanzania Dan Kazungu who is also the former Malindi MP is also eyeing the Kilifi Governor seat through the ODM party.

The Orange party’s National Executive Council in February endorsed four ways of picking aspirants, which also received the backing of the National Delegates Congress. 

The NDC approved the use of consensus, direct nomination, identification of candidates through voting by delegates and universal suffrage, through which ODM members would vote for their preferred candidate.

However, the NEC noted they favour consensus while direct nomination would be the last resort.

Raila is on record stating that parties affiliated with the Azimio la Umoja Movement will have to sacrifice their ambitions for the good of the budding coalition.

The Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate said coalition partners would try to strike a balance in picking candidates for various seats in certain regions.