ODM has now suspended the vetting of Party Leader Raila Odinga, Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho and his Kakamega counterpart Wycliffe Oparanya, who are set to face off for the party's presidential ticket.
This was announced on Thursday by ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna just hours after the ODM National Elections Board (NEB) announced that only the three had met the criteria set for those seeking to be the party's flagbearer in the 2022 General Election.
Sifuna says the process of choosing the party flagbearer will resume after the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) process is concluded even as it has stalled in Parliament as MPs from opposing sides row over whether they are allowed to amend the BBI Bill or not.
In a statement on Thursday, NEB Chairperson Catherine Muyeka Mumma had indicated that the board will now go through the three applications and vet the three candidates as required by the ODM Elections and Nomination Rules.
Muyeke said the orange party will then announce the next processes and time table in the nomination process in accordance with the ODM Constitution.
The ODM poll body had on January 21 started the nomination process and set February 26 as the submissions deadline but extended it to March 31 following a request from some interested candidates.
This comes a day after Raila tested negative for Covid-19 after isolating for more than three weeks and declared the party’s unwavering support for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
ODM also faces a unity test as coast governors led by Joho seek to launch a regional party and Oparanya on Tuesday said BBI referendum cash should be used to mitigate Covid-19 effects.