While all indications are ODM Leader Raila Odinga will fly the ODM ticket in 2017, a meeting at Maanzoni Lodge a fort night ago among the three CORD principals recommended that a poll be carried out to get the best CORD ticket for the 2017 ticket.
This poll has not been carried out. Raila had declined to finance because he didn’t want be accused of cooking it. He told his co-heads in CORD to fund it and not even inform him of the dates. Though Kalonzo and Wetangula met last Sunday, sources have told Kenya Today the issue of the poll did not come up.
Yesterday, Ipsos pollster Tom Wolf alluded to the failure by CORD to have a presidential candidate as among reasons Uhuru is ahead as the most preferred candidate ahead of 2017 polls.
Sources in the Maanzoni meeting claim Wetangula insisted he should be backed because he has the ‘numbers’ which prompted the other two CORD principals to ask him to share with them his so called ‘numbers’. Raila reminded Wetangula that CORD had to camp in his Bungoma backyard for a week to secure his ‘razor thin’ re-election back to Senate.
For Kalonzo; he felt that having backed Raila in 2013, he stood a better chance to carry the CORD ticket if Raila would endorse him.
Essentially, the two leaders were adamant Raila should not run in 2017, which is a sure way of losing in the polls.
Raila who was clearly ambushed then told the two to sponsor a credible opinion among CORD supporters on what’s the best ticket for the 2017 polls. Raila had expected the meeting was about preparations for Muthama home-coming rally.
Kenya Today has gathered that while Raila is not opposed to any of the two CORD Leaders carrying the coalition ticket; the zero sum manner that his own chances of being on the ballot was being canvassed by the two personally offended him.
After the meeting, Raila’s close confidant and Suna East MP Junet Mohammed posted on Facebook, “Many people are fighting Raila as though he is the current president who is running the country. Others behave as though Raila wants to become president to help his family members. What will you do or where will you run to if Raila decides not to contest in 2017…. Bure kabisa…”
Junet who is known to have no time for Wetangula may have been reacting to the deliberations – particularly the suggestions from Wetangula – which the ODM team felt were insulting to Mr. Odinga.
A week after Maanzoni ODM decided to start revitalising the party campaign machine from the grassroots. Mr. Odinga’s tour of Western attracted, expectedly, Wetangula’s wrath. He likened the massive ODM crowds who turned up in western for Odinga rallies as people with no votes, thus inconsequential.
ODM Deputy Party Leader and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has indicated ODM will field candidates in all of western next year.
Governor Oparanya who yesterday announced the second leg of ODM rallies in the region to be presided by Mr. Odinga has all along advised Mr. Odinga to pull ODM from CORD and prepare the party for 2017.
Mr. Odinga is away in Europe.