THE National Resistance Movement (NRM) yesterday won most of the youth seats in Parliament in the hotly contested national youth elections.
This brings the number of NRM MPs in the ninth Parliament to over 280 out of over 380.
Of the four regions, the NRM won in the central, east and north, while the west was taken by an independent candidate.
According to the Electoral Commission (EC) spokesperson, Willy Ochola, the elections were peaceful countrywide.
Patrick Nakabale (NRM) was declared the central region youth MP after beating five other contenders with 525 votes at Bwala Social Centre in Masaka Municipality.
The Masaka district returning officer, Tolbert Musinguzi, said 882 youth turned up for the elections that stretched over two days.
Other contestants were Uganda Federal Allianceâ€™s (UFA) Hakiim Kizza, who got 123, independent Sarah Babirye Kityo scored 90 votes, Forum for Democratic Changeâ€™s Joel Sennyonyi got one vote, while Ssuubiâ€™s Moses Kinene did not get any vote.
Democratic Partyâ€™s Ritah Nansubuga pulled out of the race in favour of Kizza, saying the opposition needed to team up against the NRM candidate.
NRMâ€™s Peter Ogwang, 28, won the eastern youth MP seat after trouncing four challengers.
A student of Uganda Christian University, Mukono, Ogwang won with a landslide victory after polling 992 votes against his close rival, Moses Owor of FDC, who got 123 votes.
DPâ€™s Gerald Siranda came second with 142 votes Joshua Ibanda of UFA got 24 votes followed by John Frank Bwire (independent) with 19 votes.
Ogwang had been a youth councillor before deciding to run for the MP seat.
In his victory speech, Ogwang promised to find investors who will create jobs for the youth.
â€œUnemployment is a very critical matter. I am determined to address this during my tenure of office,â€ he said.
Ogwang explained that he was ready to link the youth to the Government to enable them benefit from programmes like National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS).
He added that youth capital entry schemes and youth SACCOS were some the projects he hoped to introduce in eastern Uganda.
Observers, however, reported cases of bribery during the three days the youth spent at the hall voting.
â€œBribery featured high in these elections just like the other elections. We hope this trend will not occur again,â€ said Rev. Michael Okwii Eshakan, one of the Citizens Coalition observers in Teso.
Independent candidate Gerald Karuhanga won the western youth MP seat with 522 votes at SDA hall in Fort Portal town, Kabarole district. He beat his closet challenger, NRMâ€™s Dr. Aggrey Kyobuguzi, who got 518 votes.
Others in the race were Moses Byamugisha (FDC) with 22, Joram Kisembo (independent) with 21 and Robert Tusiime (independent) with 30 votes.
Evelyn Anite of the NRM is the new northern youth MP after beating four opposition contenders with 725 votes at Arua Heritage Courts Hotel, where the elections were held.
Her closest rival, FDCâ€™s Innocent Ayo, got 37 votes, independents Francisca Amony got 27 and Job Collins garnered 9 votes, while UFAâ€™s Kennedy Oluma got 6.
Anite, a former radio presenter and journalist with UBC radio, thanked the delegates for the overwhelming support for the NRM.
She promised to implement a five-year northern Uganda youth development plan which will focus on the creation of more jobs.
NRM takes youth parliamentary seats