ODM beats retreat on Independents

Luke Awich and Sandra Wekesa @PeopleDailyKe

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party has softened its stance on Independent candidates describing them as “friends of the party”.

Acting secretary general and Nominated Senator Agnes Zani yesterday appeared to tone down the earlier hardline position taken by the Party Leader Raila Odinga on the candidates over the weekend. She said the candidates who bolted out of the party after the recent party primaries are not enemies of the Orange Party.

She however, said that ODM party will only stand with its nominees during the campaigns which kick off from May 28. “Independent candidates are our friends; we cannot say they are our enemies.

What we want to explain is that when we go outside there, as ODM we will stand with the party nominees but they (independent candidates) are also ours,”she said.

Zani’s change of tone sharply contradicts Raila’s weekend take on the Independents whom he directed ODM and National Super Alliance (Nasa) supporters to vote out during the August 8 General Election.

On Sunday, the Nasa presidential candidate hit out at the independent candidates telling supporters to reject them saying the Orange party requires numbers in all the two Houses of Parliament.

Zani spoke after leading a high powered team to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to deposit presidential proposers’ signatures for the Nasa presidential candidate Raila and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka.

She said they had submitted 65,000 signatures from 27 counties which is way above the 2000 signatures from 24 counties threshold required by the Constitution for presidential candidates.

The law requires both presidential and Independent candidates to submit to the electoral body an electronic and printed copy of not fewer than 2,000 voters from each of the majority of the counties in the prescribed form.

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