The Orange Democratic Movement party has withdrawn from Wajir West by-election scheduled April 25th this year.
The decision, the party says, was arrived at after a high consultative meeting with Jubilee party. Further, the statement states, the move was to reciprocate to Jubileeâ€™s decision to pull out in three past key by-elections.
â€ťIt was a kind gesture for ODM to withdraw for Jubilee from the Wajir West parliamentary seat. Uniting the country requires avoiding petty fights in favor of national unity. No one is a winner in these by elections which seem to divert our attention from the anti corruption fightâ€ť- Sospeter Otieno
â€śThe Orange Democratic Movement wishes to communicate to its members that it will notparticipate in the upcoming Wajir-West by-elections scheduled for April 25, 2019 as earlier announced.
â€śThe party has arrived at this decision following consultations with the top leadership of the Jubilee Party during which we agreed to reciprocate Jubileeâ€™s earlier decision to withdraw from the Migori, Ugenya and Embakasi South by-elections,â€ť
According to the party, it will not participate or take sides in the by-election just as Jubilee party did in the aforementioned constituencies. Itâ€™s however not clear whether the ODM candidate Prof Yusuf Elmi has consented to the decision.
â€śJust as Jubilee did in the three recent by-elections, ODM will not take sides in the contest in Wajir West. We wish victory to the best candidate,â€ť the statement read.
This means that the contest will now be narrowed to Jubileeâ€™s Ahmed Kolosh and KANUâ€™s Ibrahim Mohamud. Mr Ibrahim overturned Koloshâ€™s victory after a long battle that ended in the Supreme Court.
Apparently, Mr Kolosh won the seat on ODM in 2017 but decamped to Jubilee after losing in a petition. President Uhuru Kenyatta ushered him officially on Friday at State House where he was accompanied by Aden Duale.
ODM Director of Elections Junet Mohammed said in a statement on Saturday that the party is evaluating performance in Ugenya and Embakasi South before making any adjustments in campaign strategies.