Direct nominations necessary, sensible

In Summary

• Disputes have arisen in ODM over the party decision to revert to direct nominations in some strongholds

• Many disenfranchised aspirants are unhappy because they had already invested heavily in their campaigns

Ballot box
Ballot box

ODM is struggling with internal dissent following the decision to do direct nominations in some stronghold areas.

Many losing aspirants are furious because they have already spent millions on their campaigns and will only be refunded their application fees.

One losing aspirant is the ODM national chairman John Mbadi who wanted to stand for Governor in Homa Bay where Gladys Wanga has now received a direct nomination. Mbadi said he will still support Raila Odinga in the Azimio campaign for the presidency.

Last week former Kisumu Deputy Governor Ruth Odinga warned the party against issuing direct tickets for nominations.

DP William Ruto has largely avoided this problem by creating consensus in his UDA party on candidates.

It is unavoidable that political parties resort to direct nominations.

A fully democratic primary where party members in a constituency vote to choose a candidate would be unaffordable and probably unenforceable. It makes sense for a Kenyan party to decide on direct nominations, like most political parties around the world.

However, parties should use opinion polls and consultation with grassroots members to make certain they are selecting popular candidates.

Quote of the day: The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision.

Moses Maimonides
The Spanish rabbi was born on March 30, 1335

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