The ODM Party is starring at an internal crisis after former Prime Minister Raila Odinga failed to apply for the party's presidential ticket.
The deadline for application was midnight March 31, and as of the time, Secretary General Edwin Sifuna announced that only Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya had applied for the presidential ticket.
Reports now indicate that the party is caught up in a catch 22 situation following the former premier's failure to apply for the party ticket.
The ODM Leader's presidential fate now rests with the Central Committee.
File image of Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and ODM Leader Raila Odinga. |Photo| Courtesy|
The party leadership has remained tight-lipped on the matter with Secretary General Edwin Sifuna stating that the decision to advertise was issued by the Central Committee who directed the National Elections Board, and only they would determine the way forward.
"It is the CC that instructed NEB. I am only a secretary to CC. For now, CC has not made any decision. If and when they make it, we shall go public," Sifuna told People Daily on Tuesday, April 6.
However, a highly placed source within the ODM party has since revealed that the party may be forced to re-advertise for the position to enable Raila apply.
The march 31 deadline saw Catherine Mumma, head of the party's elections body receive application papers from only Joho and Oparanya. This means technically Raila has been locked out of the race to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.
This is said to have caused a major ripple within the party.
On April 5, Homa Bay Town Member of Parliament Peter Kaluma took to social media to air his views on Raila's presidential ambitions and the eventuality of the application process.
"Raila Amollo Odinga will be on the ballot in 2022 to be our 5th president, 'apende asipende'," Kaluma tweeted.
On April 1, ODM released a statement stating that Raila had applied for the position, only to retract it later with a statement from Sifuna saying the statement was an April 1 Fools Day prank.
Raila's personal assistant Denis Onyango on April 3 accused Sifuna and Mumma of being in a rush to settle on the party's presidential candidate.
The source who sought anonymity states that the decision to re-advertise for the party's presidential flag bearer position is expected to cause unrest among supporters of Joho and Oparanya.
This would as a result make the party vulnerable to its opponents.
"NEB could re-advertise and say that those who applied did not qualify or meet the criteria. But that could cause a storm.
"unless they advertise afresh and tell Joho and Oparanya not to apply as their applications are still valid. Either way the party is in a catch 22 situation," the source stated.
He stated that the party's nomination laws are not cast in stone and that CC had directed NEB to conduct the processes much earlier.
"ODM nomination rules are not cast in stone. They are guidelines to guide the process," the source added.
Raila has, however, in the past maintained that he is not interested in discussing the 2022 presidency until after the Building Bridges Initiatives (BBI) process is complete.
File image of Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and ODM Leader Raila Odinga. |Photo| Courtesy|