Editor's Review

The future of ODM has been subject of discussion lately after Raila Odinga declared his bid for the AU Commission chairperson post.

Suna East MP Junet Mohamed has allayed fears that the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party would crumble with the likely absence of Raila Odinga. 

Raila formally declared his bid for the African Union Commission (AUC) chairperson on February 15.

Coming out later would be murmurs on the future of Kenya's opposition, and by extension, the ODM party.

Speaking at a political rally on Friday, Junet, who is the party's director of campaigns and parliamentary affairs, said the party would operate as normal with Raila at the helm even in the event he is elected the AUC chair.

"There should be no cause for alarm. ODM is a big party. Even if Raila goes to AU, ECOWAS, Somalia, or even Ethiopia, he remains our leader in Kenya. He has everything in plan," said Junet.

The lawmaker drew an instance from the period Raila served as the AU High Representative for Infrastructure but steered the affairs of the party.

Junet revealed a special meeting had been convened to deliberate on the effect of Raila's likely role in the party.

Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo (l) endorsed Raila Odinga (r) for the AUC chairperson post.  

In a recent review, Raila clarified that he would quit Kenyan politics forever if he succeeds in his bid.

He explained that he would take a back seat in Kenyan politics during that period where he would be serving as the AU Commission chairperson and then return to the scene afterwards.

"It means that I am going to work for Africa for the period that I'll be in that office. It doesn't mean that I will not participate in Kenyan politics forever, it is only during that period," Raila said.

Raila noted that he will be bound by the code of conduct for the AU chairmanship, where the holder of the office must take a back seat in the country's politics and at the same time maintain a neutral stance across politics in Africa.

To succeed, he will need support either by consensus or at least a two-thirds majority vote by the 54 AU member states represented by their heads, Kenya's President William Ruto included.