-Party leader Raila Odinga says poll will enhance fairness in the nomination process
The ODM party will use opinion polls to pick a "perfect" candidate for the upcoming Msambwen parliamentary by-election.
Speaking at Jacaranda Hotel in Ukunda on Friday, ODM Party leader Raila Odinga they will use the polls to enhance fairness in the nomination process.
He said they also want to speed up the selection process to give the party ample time for campaigns. Raila said the party will not favour any aspirant but listen to the voices of the majority of the electorate.
“No one will be chosen by the party. We want transparency and justice so that we can prove to our rivals that Msambweni is indeed an ODM stronghold,” Raila said.
Msambweni MP Suleiman Dori died in March. He was elected in 2017 on an ODM party ticket.
Raila said the opinion poll will be conducted by professionals. He urged aspirants to also dialogue and agree amongst themselves on who to back for the seat.
If the two options fail, the party will then go for nominations through the ballot.
Raila urged those who lose out in the primaries to support the winner, saying such a move will strengthen the party and deliver the seat.
“I would stress that let’s all unite together under one accord to snatch away the parliamentary seat even if you don’t go through the nominations,” he said.
It has been six months since the seat fell vacant following Dori's death.
On Thursday, Msambweni residents threatened to protest over the delay in holding the by-election.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission had initially scheduled the election for June but it was indefinitely postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Four candidates have already expressed interest in the ODM ticket. They include former Bongwe/Gombato MCA Omar Boga, Mariam Sharlete, Faisal Bader and Nicholas Zani.
Badar is Dori’s close relative who wants to carry on his legacy.
In March, some ODM members warned Raila against encouraging politics of inheritance.
“The aspirants should be voted for based on their political backgrounds and not on the basis of sympathy,” Msambweni ODM executive secretary Shaban Luchesi said.
They also rejected calls for a nominations process, saying it will cause unnecessary divisions.
Raila said the previous nominations had some challenges which the party is working hard to avert.
He said they lost several seats during the last general election because of blunders that the party will not repeat.
Deputy party leader Hassan Joho urged aspirants to support each other and show solidarity.
“Don’t look at one another as enemies because you are opponents, because that’s not what we stand for. Combine your forces when need be,” Joho said.
Edited by P.O