By Samuel Ouma
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), Kenya’s main opposition party, has pushed forward the deadline for submitting the presidential candidate applications.
The exercise, which was expected to end on February 26 will now go on until March 31, 2021, the party’s National Elections Board chairperson Catherine Mumma announced on Thursday.
“Further to the notice of the National Elections Board (NEB) of January 21, 2021, calling for the submission of applications by individuals interested in consideration as the ODM party presidential candidate for the 2022 general elections, this is to extend the deadline for the submission of applications from February 26, 2021, to 31st march 2021,” read the statement.
In January 2021, Raila Odinga’s party invited candidates interested in flying ODM’s flag in the 2022 presidential polls to apply.
Aspirants must be Kenyan citizens and a degree holder from a recognized university. He or she must also be a registered voter and a life member of the party.
They are also required to pay ksh1 million (approximately US$10,000) non-refundable application fees.
The application forms can be sourced from the party headquarters in Nairobi or downloaded from the party’s website.
Only the outgoing Mombasa Governor and the deputy party leader Ali Hassan Joho have submitted his applications.
Others expected to send their applications are Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and the party leader Raila Odinga.
The former Prime Minister has been the party’s presidential candidate in the last three general elections.
The Orange party recently dismissed calls by former Raila’s allies asking to be endorsed by the African Union envoy.
The former vice president Kalonzo Musyoka and his Amani National Congress (ANC) counterpart Musalia were allegedly waiting for the opposition Chief’s endorsement because they had supported him in previous elections.
In a statement to the newsroom, the ODM national chairman John Mbadi ruled out any possibility of Raila endorsing any of the Nasa coalition principals-Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka, and Moses Wetang’ula.
While referring to Raila’s 2018 mock swearing-in as the People’s president, which the trio boycotted, Mbadi described the trio as incoherent cowards who depend on endorsements but cannot stand to be counted.
“As a party, we will strongly discourage Hon. Odinga from doing so. We encourage Kalonzo Musyoka, Moses Wetang’ula, and Musalia Mudavadi to stop whining and be men for once in their political careers,” said Mbadi.