ODM has hinted at plans to extend application deadline for presidential candidates on the party ticket to allow Raila Odinga to submit his papers.
Junet Mohammed , ODM Director of Elections, told The Standard that there were plans to convene the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) to make the final decision on the matter that has caused confusion among its supporters.
Junet said the party organ has powers to extend application deadline. Only governors Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega) and Hassan Joho (Mombasa) had applied by the March 31 deadline.
“The issue has caused a very big confusion within the party. The matter will be presented before NEC for discussion and review. The organ will give final and conclusive recommendation to guide the party moving forward,” said Junet, who also doubles as the National Assembly Minority Whip.
Junet’s comments seek to clear the air following last week’s shocking about-turn by the Secretary General Edwin Sifuna indicating that the announcement by the National Elections Board (NEB) that Raila had submitted his application was a prank on April 1 Fools Day.
The statement by Sifuna on April 2 even irritated party chairman John Mbadi who faulted him for usurping the powers of NEB.
Junet made the disclosure as the party’s NEB held a crisis meeting amidst the raging confusion over the former premier’s presidential bid, and the deafening silence from the party leadership following Sifuna’s statement.
Yesterday’s NEB meeting chaired by Catherine Mumma came barely a week after the party announced that Raila had not applied to fly the party ticket in the 2022 presidential contest by the set deadline.
This technically implied that he would be out of the 2022 presidential contest.
Raila has maintained that he would only talk about the 2022 presidential contest once the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) birthed through the Handshake between him and President Uhuru Kenyatta, which culminate into a referendum push, is dispensed with.
Ms Mumma yesterday remained tight-lipped after the mid-day meeting, stating that the outfit would communicate to the public at an appropriate time.
“We will issue the way forward when we are ready, please,” said Mumma.
The Central Management Committee chaired by Raila in January met and tasked the NEB to kick-start the recruitment process as part of the restructuring of the party.