ODM members in Magarini petition for primaries ahead of by-election

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This move aims to ensure transparency and inclusivity in selecting the party's candidate, instead of resorting to issuing a direct ticket.

Members of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) in Magarini Constituency, Kilifi County, have taken a bold step by petitioning the party headquarters to conduct primaries ahead of an upcoming by-election.

This move aims to ensure transparency and inclusivity in selecting the candidate for the party led by opposition chief Raila Odinga instead of resorting to issuing a direct ticket.

The group, comprising delegates from all five wards of Magarini, emphasised the importance of allowing local party members to nominate their preferred candidate.

They expressed concern over the practice of granting direct tickets, citing its adverse impact on the party's electoral performance in previous elections, notably the 2022 General Election.

Former Member of Parliament Harrison Garama Kombe, whose victory was nullified following a petition, is among those eyeing the seat, alongside former Kilifi County Executive Committee member Samuel Nzai.

The delegates stressed the need for party headquarters to facilitate fair primaries to determine the most popular candidate among members.

The party’s Constituency Coordinator Waziri George noted the significance of reconstituting the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) promptly.

"We need a reconstituted IEBC to ensure fair elections in Magarini and other constituencies," he stated.

The establishment of the new constituency office aims to revitalise party activities that were previously neglected due to the absence of a dedicated office.

"Opening this constituency office marks a new beginning for party affairs in Magarini, long overdue but crucial for our organisation," George added.

The petition reflects a broader grassroots demand within ODM to uphold democratic principles in candidate selection processes. It remains to be seen how the party leadership will respond to this call for primaries in the thick of growing anticipation for the by-election in Magarini.

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