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ODM dismisses division reports, says existing differences part of democracy

By Bosco Marita
Monday, May 3rd, 2021
ODM Party leader Raila Odinga (center), party Chairman John Mbadi (left) and Secretary General Edwin Sifuna (right).
In summary
    • Etale says existing differences is a demonstration of maturity in a democratic space.
    • He says the existing difference does not amount to the party splitting.

ODM party has dismissed reports indicating that it is on the brink of splitting.

In a statement issued by Director of Communication Philip Etale, the party says existing differences on the Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2020, is part of democracy.

Etale notes that the war of words between MPs does not amount to the party splitting adding that it is a demonstration of maturity in a democratic space.

"We wish to assure our members, supporters and the general public that our legislators are only differing on substance but have a common agreement that they will all pass the Bill on the voting day," Etale said in a press statement.

"In a democratic party like the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) members have to disagree and later agree on principle especially when it comes to sensitive matters as the constitution review."

The statement comes hot on the heels of a heated exchange being witnessed at the National and Senate Assemblies among ODM MPs over the Bill.

While one camp is pushing for changes in the Bill, another group wants it passed without any amendments.

Senate Minority Leader James Orengo has been rooting for amendments together with Rarieda MP Otiende Omollo while Junet Mohammed on other side wants the Bill passed as it is.

Last week, Junet told off Senator Orengo saying he co-authored the final BBI and he can, therefore, not disown it at this stage.

"Orengo co-chaired the committee that produced the final BBI. He cannot turn around now to say that that we didn't agree on this or that," Junet stated.

"He cannot run away from his baby. He is essentially trying to disown a document he, by the virtue of being a co-captain, authored. It is the height of political dishonesty."

Among issues of contention is the rationale used to distribute 70 constituencies. A section of MPs wants the proposal on 70 constituencies scrapped since it is solely the work of the IEBC.

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