In Kenya, the main opposition party, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM-Kenya) has instituted and election body, which would oversee the election of the presidential aspirant in this year’s presidential election. This follows intense protest by some presidential aspirants that the democratic principles espoused by the party would be seriously undermined without the electoral body. They therefore threatened to boycott submitting their nomination papers, thereby undermining the stability of the party. To avert this split, sources say the party convened a plenary meeting that led to the selection of the electoral board.
David Musila is a leading member of ODM-Kenya. From the capital Nairobi, he told VOA more about the party’s new electoral body.
“It is an independent body that has been appointed by the ODM for the sole purpose of supervising nomination for candidates of the ODM-Kenya. This is not only limited to presidential, but also parliamentary candidates,” Musila noted.
He said the electoral body comprises people from various parts of the country to ensure that there is equal representation.
“We have ensured that people who have been nominated to this body are men and women of integrity, one person from every province, so it’s representative of the whole country, and we really expect that these people would carry out an independent and a fair job. You would notice that the chair, for example, is a former justice of the High Court of Kenya, and the vice is a former member of the electoral commission of Kenya, and all the rest are people of integrity with very rich CV’s (Curriculum Vitae’s) in their own fields. So we expect it to be a very independent body,” he said.
Musila confirmed that the inception of the electoral body has brought some stability within the party.
“Yes, indeed! Since the body was set up, one candidate has presented his papers. That is the Honorable Ruto, and we expect that Mr. Kenyatta would do the same tomorrow. So I think the principle that they stood by was right. They wanted an independent body to be set up. The body has been set up and they have now started presenting their papers. We expect that in the next few days, all aspirants would have submitted their papers to the new board,” Musila pointed out.
He said although the party faces challenges, it is ready to overcome those challenges and win the presidential election.
“ODM-Kenya like any other party is no doubt going through formational problems, mistrust and so forth. But we are not alone in this and it’s not a new phenomenon. The most important thing is to understand that ODM-Kenya is ready for this election. We have started the process. It is not going to be easy. The road ahead is going to be bumpy, but we are up to the task,” he said.