BIG DECISION

ODM to pick presidential candidate next week

Coast leaders want the NEC to declare Raila as the flagbearer

In Summary

• Party leader Raila Odinga is expected to fly the flag and the meeting could endorse him and end the speculation about his candidature. 

• While in Tana River on the second day of his tour of the Coast, Raila steered clear of the question of the party nominee for president.

The ODM party's National Executive Council will meet next week to pick their 2022 flagbearer. 

Party leader Raila Odinga is expected to fly the flag and the meeting could endorse him and end the speculation about his candidature. 

While in Tana River on the second day of his tour of the Coast, Raila steered clear of the question of the party nominee for president.

He said he is in no hurry to be declared the candidate but announced that the party will use all means to ensure the Building Bridges Initiative Bill goes through.

The Bill was nullified by the High Court and the appeals are being considered by a seven-judge bench of the Court of Appeal. 

Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho and Kakamega's Wycliffe Oparanya have submitted documents for nomination as presidential contenders using the ODM ticket.

The deputies to party leader presented nomination papers to the ODM secretariat in March.

Coast leaders led by Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo said they support Raila to be the flagbearer as his is the only one fit for the top seat.

Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir rallied for negotiated democracy among those who have declared interest to run for president. 

Raila was accompanied by ODM director of elections Junet Mohamed, Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi, Madzayo, Nominated Senator Christine Zawadi and Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire.

Others were Kilifi Woman Rep Getrude Mbeyu, former Malindi MP Willy Mtengo, aspirant Phillip Charo and several MCAs led by Kilifi majority leader Kadenge Mwathethe.

Devolution CAS Gideon Mung’aro who hosted the group during the funeral of his uncle Japhet Mungaro declared he will run for Kilifi governor. 

Governor Amason Kingi is finishing his second and last term in office.

Junet said he'd heard the voice of Coast MPs who want to see Raila on the ballot during the 2022 General Election but told them to be patient.

“As a person who is in charge of elections in the party, we shall convene a National Executive Council meeting and we will discuss as a party to come with a decision on who will be the party flagbearer,” he said.

He said they will support Raila if he will contest and shall advise them on the way forward after the NEC meeting.

Nassir said it was important for the party to pick the right candidate.

“I cannot talk on behalf of other parties, or alliances but I can talk on behalf of my house. The house I was brought up in politics is ODM. If one or two people exit it doesn’t mean things will not go on,” he said.

Raila then flew to Lamu where he is also expected to have a series of meetings.