NRM’s NEC approves lining up behind candidates in primary elections

Friday January 24 2020

 LC1 elections

Voters line up behind their LC1 candidate. During the LC1 campaigns, the levy became a concern and the public urged government to explain it. FILE PHOTO 

By MISAIRI THEMBO KAHUNGU

The National Executive Council (NEC) of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party on Friday approved a proposal to amend the party Constitution to cater for voting by lining up behind candidates in primary elections.

The NEC meeting held at State House, Entebbe approved the amendment in a motion moved by the Deputy Secretary General Richard Twodwong and seconded by one Mr Mulindwa Birimumaso. 

This means that the resolution of NEC will be taken to the National delegates’ conference that will be held at the Mandela National Stadium, Namboole on Saturday for final approval before it is implemented in the coming primary elections to vote for flag bearers on different elective positions.

While explaining to NEC why the proposal was made by the Central Executive Council (CEC), President Museveni who is also the NRM National Chairman, said that the choice to line up behind candidates will cater for troubles that have characterised the secret ballot in the past that include; financial implications and also the issue transparency as some losing contenders could give excuse of vote rigging.

"Secret ballot is costly logistically and also doesn't solve the problem of cheating, because lining up is clear. Nobody can say I was cheated because everybody will be observing,” Mr Museveni said.        

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Mr Museveni urged the NEC members to also adopt the proposal of allowing the people to manage the primary elections locally without the party spending money to send in manpower to manage the exercise. 

Meanwhile, two Members of Parliament opposed the proposed amendment of lining up behind candidates, saying it will cost the party in the long run as the consequences will take long to heal.     

Ngora District Woman MP Jackline Amongini and Bunyole West MP James Waluswaka argued that lining up will cause divisions among the party members.                  

"When it comes to elections at the grassroots, women cannot independently take decisions without asking their husbands. Also there is likely to be violence as wrong elements will take advantage of it," Ms Amongini said amidst heckling by fellow MPs.  

Whereas Mr Waluswaka argued that: "People will line up behind weak candidates, and whoever brought the proposal is an enemy of our party."

Earlier in his speech, Mr Museveni warned against charging of some fees in government schools implementing Universal Education, because it is against the principal of NRM which address socio-economic transformation.

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