In Kenya, the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM-Kenya) has set up a committee to work out the modalities on nominating aspiring candidates for president, civic and parliamentary seats, in preparation for the country’s next general elections. The committee is also charged with writing the party’s manifesto, and setting up structures for party leadership.
William Ruto is a leading member of the Orange Democratic Movement. He spoke with VOA English to Africa reporter Peter Clottey about the work of the new committee.
“I think this is routine development in any political party. We did establish when we were in Naivasha three committees: One committee to deal with issues of nomination rules and election procedures. The second commission was to deal with the party’s manifesto and related structures. And finally was the committee to deal with the final structure of the party right from the national delegate conference all the way to the branches and the grass root structure. Now the committee that we have established on nomination rules and elections procedures is the committee that is going to work out whether we are going to have a college system or we are going to have a popular vote or we are going to have a mixture of both popular vote and college system of our civic, parliamentary, and presidential candidates,” he said.
Ruto disagrees that there is disunity in the party as has being speculated.
“What is happening in the ODM is not anything strange. It happens in any democratic institution where there is competition. People want to be sure that they are going to have a free and fair nomination process. They want to participate and there is a lot of anxiety…I want to tell you and confirm to you and your listeners that ODM is sturdy; it is up to the job, and there isn’t any threat of ODM disintegrating because of the so-called tensions and that kind of thing,” he noted.
He says all presidential candidates are determined to support whoever is chosen to lead the party in the country’s next tripartite elections.
“… All of us are very clear in our minds that we are going to subject ourselves through a nomination process. And we have told our supporters and ODM members that whoever is nominated by that process, we are going to support, and that is very clear to all the candidates…” Ruto said.
He says all democratic-minded people should know that once you decide to run for an office, you must be prepared to either win or lose.
“In a democratic process, like the one we are engaged in, any person who is truly a democrat must be prepared to win and must be equally prepared to lose because if you are not prepared to lose, then nobody should be prepared to win,” he said.
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