Head of ODM, Raila Odinga, has announced that the party would hold internal elections this year and advised those who wished to leave to do so. The statement comes after chairman John Mbadi expressed his intentions to resign from the party after being replaced as Minority Leader of the National Assembly by Opiyo Wandayi. Raila denied knowledge of Mbadi’s intentions to quit and claimed that his statements may have been a reflex. Mbadi has been at odds with several party members who have demanded his resignation, claiming abuse within the party. However, he has stated that he will remain in the party and support Raila.
In an interview with Ramogi TV, Raila stated that the ODM had put mechanisms in place to organize thorough elections and that those who choose to leave should do so. He also mentioned that he would be informed when Mbadi wants to resign and that Mbadi’s outburst may not necessarily reflect his intentions. Mbadi, who has been in office for nine years, stated that he would continue to support Raila and would retire if he had to speak against the party leader’s decisions.
Tensions have risen in the ODM as prominent figures vie for leadership positions in the party, with the last election held in 2014, which was disrupted by a group of young people.