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ODM’s direct tickets undermine democracy, says Francis Nyenze

The Opposition’s leader in the National Assembly, Francis Nyenze, has criticised the decision by the Orange Democratic Movement to give direct nominations to selected candidates, saying it will undermine democracy.

Mr Nyenze, the Minority Leader, said ODM’s decision had officially killed the proposal to have joint nominations by the Opposition coalition, Nasa, in some parts of the country to boost their chances of having more lawmakers, governors and MCAs.

“What ODM has done in giving direct nominations kills democracy. If it was Wiper doing that they would be condemning it. Now, because they have done it, joint nominations will never be there,” said Mr Nyenze.

He said Wiper, which is a member of Nasa, and other parties “will do the same and will not be dictated to by one party called ODM.”

“We’ll not accept joint nominations because they have led the way,” he said.

DIRECT TICKETS

On Monday, the party led by Mr Raila Odinga handed out direct tickets to 427 candidates, with the party leader saying this would leave them free to campaign for the party’s presidential candidate.

Those with nomination certificates in their pockets are 16 aspirants for governor, 16 for senator, 11 for woman representative and 307 for member of country assembly (MCA).

Mr Odinga described them as “the hardest working and strongest aspirants.”

But Mr Nyenze criticised the move, saying that democracy demands that the people be involved in deciding who would be the right person to represent them.

HIGHEST BIDDERS

“I think these are the highest bidders. They are giving to people who have mostly contributed to the party. These are people who give money to the party,” he said.

He said the direct nominations were a sign that the other parties in the coalition are free to field candidates where ODM will have its own.

“There is nobody who is more equal than others and there are no invitees. We will not allow bad behavior that will kill democracy. Wiper is very democratic and when we do it, we don’t expect lectures from anywhere,” he added.

Mr Nyenze has over the past month emerged as a vocal critic of the manner in which the affairs of the National Super Alliance are being conducted.

Last week, he caused a stir after he issued a seven-day ultimatum for the holding of a meeting of the alliance’s National Coordinating Committee to decide on a presidential candidate.

He has also insisted that Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka be named the opposition’s flag bearer, without which the former Vice President would be forced to go it alone.

However, Mr Musyoka downplayed the suggestion that he would leave Nasa and told the Nation: “I am in Nasa to stay.”

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