NRM EALA aspirants to sue party for ring-fencing positions

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What you need to know:

  • The aspirants accuse the NRM party chairman who also doubles as the president, of undermining democracy by ring-fencing some party positions.

A section of National Resistance Movement (NRM) members has petitioned their party to reverse its decision of locking them out of the primaries to choose those to contest in the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) elections.

This was after the party leadership chose to exempt the six incumbents out of the 130 aspirants from going through the vetting process by the Central Executive Committee (CEC).

The aspirants, who failed to make the cut are now threatening to go to court to protest the party's top organ decision, saying it suffocates democracy.

“When we reached State House (Friday) we met the chairman (Mr Museveni)  and he said those who want to step down can do so and the remaining 67 can go home and wait for the invitation to appear before the NRM caucus,” Ms Ruth Nankabirwa, one of the aspirants, told journalists Monday.

The aspirants accuse the NRM party chairman who also doubles as the president, of undermining democracy by ring-fencing some party positions.

“I urge the President to bring in his wise counsel to the CEC members to repeal this decision. That decision is going to kill the morale of the young people contesting for positions because ring-fencing positions at every election is very bad for a growing democracy,” Mr Isa Kato, also an aspirant said.

Mr Ronald Mivule, another EALA aspirant said they have already informed the party leadership of their intention to sue if nothing is done in their favour.

 “The CEC has no power and mandate to hand-pick candidates as this renders the parliamentary voting futile and useless. Our clients also wonder what was the intention of the NRM electoral commission calling them to express interests,” Mr Robert Rutaro, the aspirants’ lawyer, noted.

In May, the Clerk to Parliament, Mr Adolf Mwesigye, issued a communication to all party leaders to front candidates that will vie for the nine EALA slots. NRM being the majority party takes six slots out of nine for Uganda.

The full-blown process is expected to take place in September when candidates will be elected to represent Uganda in Arusha.


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