Orange party to determine grassroots election rules today amid succession talk

Raila Odinga chat with Former Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho during his tour of Wajir County for ODM recruitment drive on March 07, 2024. [Mohammed Saman, Standard]

ODM leader Raila Odinga is expected to chair the party’s central committee meeting today to discuss succession politics and the grassroots elections scheduled for this month.

Ever since he announced his interest in the AU Commission chair position on February 15, the party has been rocked by debates over who will take over the opposition mantle once he exits the local scene.

ODM party leadership has been a subject of heated debate among party members vying to succeed Odinga. He has endorsed Ali Hassan Joho and former Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, his two deputies, if he wins the AU top job. Joho has already listed reasons why he believes he is the best candidate to lead ODM if Raila clinches the AU Commission chair job.

However, some politicians from his Luo Nyanza base want his succession race to be open to other interested candidates and not limited to Joho and Oparanya.

They argue that the region must get its fair share in the party’s leadership.

Odinga will also address the formation of the election coordinating committee that could derail the slated party grassroots elections. The party could face challenges in holding the elections until the said committee has been put in place.

“There could be some challenges with us holding the grassroots elections in April because our elections committee is not in place but that’s the decision the party will take next week,” said ODM Chair John Mbadi.

Other issues on the agenda include keeping the current government in check.

A new opposition alliance dubbed “team kusikiza ground” has already been unveiled for that purpose.

One of its members, Embakasi East MP Babu Owino, said at the unveiling that the launch is caused by the “laxity” seen in the main opposition coalition that has lost on its role of fighting for the rights of Kenyans. “This team will be on the ground to fight for the voice of the voiceless, to fight for the inherent and inalienable right of every Kenyan wherever they are in the eight regions,” Owino said guring the team’s launch.

Other members of the new forum include Githunguri MP Gathoni Wamuchomba, Mark Mwenje (Embakasi West), Caleb Amisi (Saboti), Charles Nguna (Mwingi West) and Busia Women Representative Catherine Omanyo.

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