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NRM conducts youth polls tomorrow

By Vision Reporter

Added 8th September 2010 03:00 AM

THE election of NRM youth leaders and parliamentary flag-bearers has been deferred to tomorrow after chaos broke out during the polls on Tuesday, leading to the cancellation of the process.

THE election of NRM youth leaders and parliamentary flag-bearers has been deferred to tomorrow after chaos broke out during the polls on Tuesday, leading to the cancellation of the process.

By Henry Mukasa
and Milton Olupot


THE election of NRM youth leaders and parliamentary flag-bearers has been deferred to tomorrow after chaos broke out during the polls on Tuesday, leading to the cancellation of the process.

An emergency meeting of candidates and selected leaders was yesterday held in which members raised issues of concern, including accuracy of the register, transparency of the party electoral commission (EC) and the need to conduct polls on the basis of regions.

An official of the NRM secretariat, Emmy Katabaazi, told the youth assembly at Namboole afterwards that President Yoweri Museveni, the NRM chairman, had directed that the polls be repeated on Friday.

Katabaazi said ballots of the Tuesday process had been annulled and new ones would be re-designed.

“The commander-in-chief directed that you will vote on Friday. That means we shall look for facilitation (your upkeep) and the secretariat is doing that,” he said.

Katabaazi said a decision had been taken to stop polling on Tuesday night, but before it could be announced, commotion erupted, forcing the Police to spray teargas.

The tent where the youth were assembled was strewn with broken chairs and bottles after the fracas.
“Such incidents are regrettable,” Katabaazi said.

“Some delegates were also candidates in the primaries in their districts and wanted to return and participate in that exercise. They demanded to vote first or have elections postponed, but they were not allowed by the electoral officials,” one of the candidates said.

Katabaazi admitted that the youth register had “human errors” which should not be blamed on the party electoral commission, but the youthful registrars that were sent out to prepare the registers.

He explained that some had problems differentiating between Amuru and Amuria districts or Moroto county in Lira from Moroto district, leading to a mix-up.

The official elaborated that on Friday, the EC would be beefed up with more manpower so that the youth vote from their regions simultaneously.

He said before polling, each candidate will be given a chance to campaign on a public address system.

The delegates of the NRM youth league are composed of seven members of the district executive, which is comprised of five executive members and two youth councillors at district level. Each sub-county also sends one youth. The executives of the NRM committees in the 22 municipalities are also delegates.

Katabaazi said the problems the youth faced were because NRM was a mass party with many delegates, which stretched the organisers.

He said some uninvited guests had stormed Namboole stadium, the venue for the special organs conference, claiming they were delegates, out of love for the party.

“Not everybody you see with an accreditation tag is a delegate. Instead of having 12,000 people, we ended up with 30,000. You should understand the administrative challenges your party faces because of its popularity,” he observed.

Meanwhile, the veterans’ league re-elected former health minister Maj. Gen. Jim Muhwezi as leader. His victory was announced yesterday at 6:45am.

In other elections, the persons with disabilities (PWDs) elected Fabiano Opira as chairperson of their league in NRM. He replaces former minister for the disabled, Florence Naiga, who is MP for Kayunga district.

The PWDs re-elected their MPS as NRM flag-bearers in the parliamentary elections, apart from Julius Balyejjusa (eastern) who was ditched by Hellen Asamo.

Other flag-bearers are Alex Ndezi (central), Hood Katuramu (western), William Nokrach (northern) and Safia Nalule (national female).

Namboole remained a hub of activity for the ruling party. Several delegates have remained in the stadium waiting for the delegates’ conference that will choose new party executive members and its presidential flag-bearer.

Security also maintained a ring around the stadium since the September 10-11 conference will be almost a who-is-who meeting in the Government.

Candidates for the powerful post of NRM secretary general, Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire and Prof. Elijah Mushemeza, used the free time the delegates had to canvass for support.

NRM conducts youth polls tomorrow

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