Following successful completion of the grassroot polls, the Orange Democratic Movement party’s National Elections Body (NEB) is set to reopen applications for the presidential ticket in the 2022 general elections.
The new move appears to allow ODM Leader Raila Odinga and philanthropic businessman Jimmy Wanjigi to apply, joining Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho and his Kakamega counterpart Wycliffe Oparanya in the 2022 race for the party’s flagbearer.
The two County chief’s Joho and Oparanya are the only leaders to have applied to be ODM’s presidential candidates in the 2022 general polls before the initial March 31, 2021 deadline materializes.
“I’ve not received Jimmi Wanjigi’s application or Raila Odinga’s. I had not closed the applications. We are engaged in grassroot elections at the moment,” NEB chairperson Catherine Mumma told Nation.
“When that is done, we will get into the matter of the party’s presidential candidate,” she added.
This comes just months after the party in January 12, announced that it had opened the window for presidential ticket applications, it set the deadline at February 26, but later extended it by nearly a month to March 31.
National Election’s Board head Catherine Mumma later stated that the party suspended the applications to focus on the Constitution Amendment Bill 2020 popularly known as the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), that has since faced a lot of huddles.
The party leader and former prime minister Raila Odinga is yet to officially declare his bid for the presidency, but his allies have led Kenyans to believing he will be on the ballot to replace President Uhuru Kenyatta as the Kenyan fifth President.
Catherine Mumma divulged that the party has held in-depth engagements with the party stakeholders from over 28 counties to ensure the grassroot elections are inclusive, fair, transparent, and acceptable for all.
“The deadline for elections in every county is agreed during the consultative meetings. At no given time has the board given a deadline for all counties to conclude the polls,” Mumma stated.
The party’s National chairman, and Gwassi legislator John Mbadi Ng’ong’o has since stated that the former premier is free to apply for ODM’s presidential ticket, as nothing bars him from doing so.
“There is no requirement in our Constitution or nomination rules on the deadline for submitting applications. The deadline given last week was a procedural matter by the NEB. It does not affect anything,” the ODM Chairman and Suba South MP stated.
Odinga and businessman Jimi Wanjigi have since embarked on tours of the country to popularise their presidential bids over the recent past, Wanjigi has maintained that ODM is a democratic house and is determined to wrestle for the party’s presidential ticket from the ODM party leader.