Thursday, 16 January 2014


Former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, received a huge set back on Thursday, after Former Bureti MP, Franklin Bett, quit the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).Making the announcement at a Press Conference in Kericho, Bett revealed that party leader, Raila Odinga, has asked him to serve as the Party’s election Chairman but refused saying he is tired of constant politicking and grumbling in the Orange party.

“It is frustrating when after the party holds peaceful and fair election across the country, the party leadership begins a vicious infighting and these are the issues I don’t want to be associated with anymore,” Bett said.Bett, who is also the former Roads Minister, said that he was not vying for any position in the party since he had quit the Orange party officially.
“For the moment, I am not a member of any political party but an ordinary Kenyan concentrating on my business enterprises I have here and there,” He said.
ELECTIONS for party positions in ODM are due in February. Already candidates from across the country are jockeying for leadership positions. ODM is still vibrant.Unfortunately past ODM elections have been manipulated by the party leadership. In both 2007 and 2013, winners of ODM primaries were locked out. As a result, some supporters on the ground were alienated and either withheld their votes, or did not register to vote.Arguably Raila Odinga, the leader of ODM, might be president today if ODM primaries had been handled more transparently.

Party elections are now mandatory under the Political Parties Act.The curse of Kenyan politics is that it remains excessively tribal. ODM is the nearest thing in Kenya to a national party that crosses ethnic boundaries, unlike the other parties which are largely dedicated to representing particular regions.This is ODM's key selling point and its best opportunity for taking power in future.However this advantage will be squandered if elections for party office or primaries are stage managed and do not reflect the wishes of ODM party members.So let all contenders for ODM offices declare themselves, and may the best persons win, not just those favoured by the top.

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