ODM petitions IEBC over party primaries deadline

Friday, September 17th, 2021 12:18 |
ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna. Photo/PD/FILE

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) wants the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to allocate three months of party nominations as opposed to the 80 days prescribed by the Constitution.

Secretary General Edwin Sifuna said the period allocated for the exercise would not be enough for ODM to conduct free and fair party primaries across the country.

“ODM is a big party; one week is not enough for us to hold party primaries,” Sifuna told a press conference at the party headquarters.

He said ODM had engaged IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati who promised that he would consult with members to see if more dates could be allocated for primaries.

“Chebukati promised to address the matter once the commission is fully constituted, this has been attained and we expect him to respond to our concerns,” Sifuna said.

Official deadlines

The IEBC has set April 9, 2022, as the official deadline for the submis- sion of names for party primaries to the commission and April 16–22, 2022, as the period within which political parties will be required to conduct primaries.

All independent candidates will have until May 9 to stop being members of political parties. The IEBC will then gazette all names of inde- pendent candidates on May 13. Losers in party primaries will still have a chance to run as independent candidates.

Sifuna at the same time denied claims that the party was pushing for the removal of Chebukati from his position.

“The media should ignore state- ments made by politicians outside there in rallies and funerals, the official position of the party is issued by the leadership. We have no intentions to push for the removal of the commission chairman,” Sifuna said.

Sifuna argued that political par- ties have their unique ways of doing things especially due to the size of the membership and those inter- ested in vying. “Parties are not the same, ODM is unique as it is the largest party in the country and so we will be requiring more time to conduct elections in all corners of the country,” he said.

The party, he said will go all out to give its supporters free and fair primaries and that is the reason why it wants more time for the exercise.

“We cannot promise our sup- porters and aspirants free and fair exercise if IEBC fails to extend the nomination period from the current eight days,” he said.

He added, “We want more days so that there is also sufficient time for internal dispute resolution.” Some ODM politicians have demanded Chebukati’s exit.

Homa Bay Women Representative Gladys Wanga has publicly called for the removal of the commission chair owing to the performance of the electoral body during the 2017 elections, which were nullified by the Supreme Court.

More on News