ODM party leader Raila Odinga to chair meeting on party elections, succession

Raila Odinga, the leader of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party, is set to preside over a crucial meeting of the party’s influential body to discuss upcoming grassroots elections and internal succession matters.

Scheduled for Wednesday, April 3, 2024, the meeting will convene at Raila Odinga’s office located at Capitol Hill in Nairobi, as confirmed by Philip Etale, the Director of Communications for ODM.

This gathering of the Central Management Committee, comprising 12 members vested with significant decision-making authority, is pivotal as the party gears up for its impending elections. Originally slated for December 2023, these elections were deferred earlier.

Among the pressing matters expected to be deliberated upon is the potential postponement of the party elections once more. This decision holds weight, given its implications for the party’s internal dynamics and future trajectory.

Simultaneously, the meeting aims to chart a path forward regarding succession plans within the party leadership, particularly in the event of Raila Odinga’s potential appointment to the African Union Commission.

With several party members expressing interest in assuming the mantle of leadership, Raila Odinga recently cautioned against regional endorsements, emphasizing the importance of unity within the party ranks. He warned against divisive tendencies that could undermine the cohesion of ODM.

However, amidst debates over postponement due to concerns about the impact of contentious elections on Raila’s candidacy for the AUC role, some leaders advocate for proceeding with the electoral process. They argue that conducting the grassroots elections in phases over an extended period could mitigate potential disruptions.

Raila Odinga’s candidacy for the African Union Commission chairmanship enjoys support from various quarters, including President William Ruto and other East African leaders. His bid seeks to succeed Moussa Faki, whose tenure concludes in February 2025.