ODM Explains Direct Nomination Formula Amid Uproar

  • ODM leader Raila Odinga arrives at Jubilee NDC meeting on Saturday, February 26, 2022 at KICC
    ODM leader Raila Odinga arrives at Jubilee NDC meeting on Saturday, February 26, 2022 at KICC
    File
  • The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) on Sunday, April 3, explained its nomination formula amid a looming crisis that threatens to shake up the party's unity ahead of the August 9, 2022 polls.

    Speaking during an interview on Citizen TV, ODM's Election Board Chairperson Catherine Mumma revealed that the party's criteria includes; consensus building, direct nomination, opinion polls and competitive party primaries.

    Mumma broke down each of the methods, noting that consensus-building remained their number one approach. It involves bringing together aspirants who then identify the strongest candidate among themselves and rally behind him or her.

    Catherine Mumma during her election as the National Elections Board chairperson in August 11, 2020
    Catherine Mumma during her election as the National Elections Board chairperson in August 11, 2020
    Twitter

    "Consensus means that you let the aspirants speak to each other by themselves or through a third party to try and settle for one," she explained.

    The Election Board chair also expounded on the use of opinion polls. She noted that the method was scientific and would give a depiction of what was happening on the ground, based on scientific data.

    Mumma added that based on poll results, they will seek to convince the low-ranking aspirants to shelve their bids and back the high-rating contenders. However, she insisted that the process was highly democratic.

    "They will rate the aspirants, not just those in ODM, and in some instances, we have managed to persuade those who are not rated highly to step down for those who are doing well. It is a negotiation, the participants have to be willing and see the point that the party is trying to put across," she reiterated.

    While responding to concerns raised on the method by some of the aspirants, she assured them that it would be transparent. She added that the subcontracted pollsters are reputable and have handled previous polls including those on presidential candidates.

    On matters of direct nomination, the election board chair noted that it would be used in situations where the party has only one candidate or when a candidate is miles ahead of other competitors eyeing the seat.

    She explained that the latter would only exhaust the aspirants' resources and limit their ability to compete with other aspirants from other parties. In addition, strong candidates who have been poached from another party will also be given a direct ticket.

    "We can also give direct nominations when we fish a good candidate from another party. If we manage to get a strong candidate from Jubilee, for instance, it would be wrong to subject them to party primaries because they do not even know the ODM members in order for them to campaign," she explained.

    Her statement comes as the party faces a crisis over the nomination parties. Mombasa businessman and gubernatorial candidate, Suleiman Shabal has rejected the use of a popularity survey in the nomination.

    "Enough is enough with the boardroom politics. The people of Mombasa are the ones who will decide on who will become their next leaders. We will stand with baba until the end but here in Mombasa, don't try to manipulate things for us," he stated.

    Evans Kidero, who has his eyes set on becoming the next Homa Bay county governor, announced that he would be running as an independent candidate. This is after ODM handed the county's Woman Representative, Gladys Wanga a direct ticket.

    On Saturday, the Raila Odinga-led party cancelled nominations in Mombasa, Kilifi, Nakuru and Lamu counties.

    It's a delicate balancing act for Odinga as this could ignite fallout and sibling rivalry, which could hand their competitors undue advantage, especially in battlegrounds.

    Homa Bay County women's representative Gladys Wanga addressing mourners on November 20, 2021.
    Homa Bay County women's representative Gladys Wanga addressing mourners on November 20, 2021.
    Courtesy Gladys Wanga