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Video: Raila defends six-piece voting, urges losers in ODM primaries not to vie as independent

ODM leader Raila Odinga has reiterated that his call for six-piece voting is only meant for the ODM party.

Addressing aspirants who will fly the party ticket at Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi, yesterday, Mr Odinga said the voting style is only meant for the party and in areas where it will field candidates.

The ODM leader issued party tickets to winners in the nominations conducted across the country except in Nairobi where primaries will be held today.

Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati who is vying for the Kisii governor, former Wajir governor Ahmed Abdullahi (Wajir), Gladys Wanga (Homabay) and her deputy Oyugi Magwanga, Paul Otuoma, (Busia) received their nomination certificates.

Others were Kevin Okwara who vied for the Turbo seat in Uasin Gishu on the Jubilee party ticket in 2017 and will now fly the ODM's flag in Nambale constituency, Winnie Majani (Vihiga Woman Rep candidate) and former Provincial Commissioner Hassan Noor Hassan (Mandera Governor candidate) were awarded their nomination certificates.

Mr Odinga said his remarks over the weekend were taken out of context as he did not mean to coerce anyone within Azimio la Umoja movement to vote for ODM candidates.

ODM leader Raila Odinga during a past meeting at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Foundation in Upper Hill, Nairobi. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

“I was speaking to ODM members and told them to only vote for party candidates wherever they are, not everybody in the coalition. I urge members of ODM to vote for our candidates, but if you are not a member of ODM, vote for whoever you are supporting,” he said.

“Azimio la Umoja coalition is a movement that has many political parties. I am the presidential candidate of the coalition but also the party leader of ODM,” he added.

This comes after leaders allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta cautioned against six-piece voting saying aspirants should be left to vie so as to encourage high voter turnout in most areas.  

The ODM leader also took the opportunity to appeal to losers in the primaries not to vie as independent candidates, stating that most aspirants only use the party with the mind of winning a seat and once they lose they are quick to dump it and move on.

"My question is, why didn’t they declare their interests in vying as independents before applying to vie on a party ticket? When you chose to join a political party, remain steadfast in that party and believe in its ideology and principles,” he said.

ODM supporters queuing to vote at Nyakoko polling centre in Muhoroni, April 14, 2022. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

The former Prime Minister also cautioned the aspirants seeking elective seats for their own selfish gain arguing that the positions are not there for people to enrich themselves and forget why they got to power.

“Public service is a service not an avenue for the creation of wealth. All those who want to enrich themselves should venture into business. Public service is a call to serve the public,” said Mr Odinga.

He also asked the aspirants to popularise ODM party to ensure it clinches as many seats as possible.

“You are now our ambassadors. Go out there and campaign vigorously for the party and deliver, but remember to talk about the unity of Kenyans and in particular the people you want to represent at various levels,” he said.