Efforts by the ruling NRM party top leadership to find a flag bearer for Usuk County parliamentary by-election due on September 12, have hit a snag with one of the key aspirants declaring he will contest as an independent candidate.
The NRM Electoral Commission Chairperson, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, who chaired a meeting on Friday aimed at resolving differences in the party in Katakwi District and finding a consensus candidate, said because of the different opinions expressed at the meeting, it was not possible to come up with a definite candidate.
“It was not possible to have a consensus or unanimity on who should be the candidate. We have agreed therefore that we go for the primaries,” said Dr Rugunda. The primaries are set for Tuesday.
While the Katakwi NRM chairperson, Mr Charles Oleny, who is also former Usuk County MP, argues that he is the incumbent party flag bearer, a section of the NRM leadership in the district is opposed to this, calling for fresh elections.
“Individual differences are chocking party interests in Katakwi. I was elected party flag bearer in 2010 but my leaders have chosen to ignore what is clearly in our constitution,” Mr Oleny said.
The former Katakwi NRM chairperson, Mr Stephen Ilemukorit, said voters in the district should be allowed to take an independent decision on which candidate they wish to back in the by-election.
The seat fell vacant after Mr Micheal Oromait died in July.
The stalemate has shed a dark cloud on prospects of NRM winning the by-election, with most of the supporters now divided into camps of aspirants. So far 11 people have picked nomination forms, many of them being NRM members.