Wednesday, 19 September 2012

ODM Unveils New Election Board

PM Assures Candidates on Free and Fair Nominations
By Philip Etale

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party Leader, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, has said the forthcoming ODM party primaries scheduled for the end of the year must be free, fair and transparent.

The PM said this when he inaugurated the new ODM Electoral Board that will be chaired by Col (Rtd). Henry Kathurima. He advised the new board to ensure that the nominations are of the highest standards possible.
Members of ODM's new National Elections Board (NEB). From left to right: James Ogundo, Dr. Joseph Misoi, Hon. Judy Pareno, PM Raila Odinga, Col. (Rtd) Dr. Henry Muthee Kathurima (new NEB chairman), Chacha Nyaigoti Chacha, Beatrice Sabana, Hellen Nayuko Katangie (partly hidden) and Ibrahim Mohammed. The new board was unveiled by the Prime Minister at a breakfast function at a Nairobi hotel on the morning of Wednesday, September 19, 2012.

The PM said that ODM embodies the highest democratic ideals in the country. “Our nomination process for various electoral positions in the coming general election must therefore be flawless.”
He said Kenyans expect the party to be the torchbearer in democratic practice in the country. Noting that there were very few women in political leadership, the PM appealed to women to present themselves in big numbers for ODM tickets. “ODM is your party. We want to give opportunities to women and I welcome as many women as possible to seek the party ticket for the various seats available.”
The Premier said women are integral in the development of the party and so they should be allowed fair competition during the party primaries. He decried the use of violence against women during elections.
Mr. Odinga disclosed that the ODM Party Manifesto was now ready and would shortly be unveiled. He also announced that the part would convene its National Delegates Conference in a few weeks’ time.
On the date for the next general election, the Prime Minister was emphatic that the elections would take place on 04 March 2012, in accordance with the IEBC programme, as upheld by the courts. 

The members of the new-look National Elections Board are as follows:

  1.   Cl. Rtd. Dr. Henry Kathurima – (Former Military officer) Chairman
  2.   Hon. Judith Pareno - (MP- EALA) Commissioner
  3.   Prof. Chaacha Nyaigoti Chacha - (Renown Scholar) Commissioner
  4.   Beatrice Sabana - Commissioner
  5.   Ibrahim Rashid Ahmed - Commissioner.
  6.   James Ogundo - Commissioner
  7.   Joseph Misoi - Commissioner.
  8.   Cllr. Hellen Nayuko - Commissioner.

The Prime Minister advised the board to be impartial in the execution of their duties saying that the future and success of the party at the general election lay in their hands.

Speaking during the occasion, ODM National Chairman Mr Henry Kosgey urged the NEB members to be above reproach. “I would like to assure all our party members and those aspiring to run for various seats in the general elections that there will be no direct nomination in ODM,” said Mr. Kosgey. He emphasized that there would be no sacred cows during and after the party primaries.

The Board’s new chairman, Dr. Kathurima, assured party members and aspirants of impartial services from the board members, saying that they would like to give the best to the party. “We are up to the task and ready to deliver,” he added.

The Head of the Raila Odinga Presidential Campaign Secretariat, Mr. Eliud Owalo, said his team looked forward to working with the new elections board and the party national secretariat with the aim of ensuring the party objectives are achieved.

Present during the occasion were, ODM Secretary General Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o, several cabinet ministers and the ODM Executive Director Ms. Janet Ong’era among others.

The writer is ODM Director of Communications

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