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Akena okayed for UPC party presidency

By Vision Reporter

Added 18th May 2015 09:23 PM

Lira Municipality MP Jimmy Akena whose father and former president, the late Milton Obote founded the Uganda People's Party, has been allowed nomination papers to take a shot at the Party’s Presidency.

Lira Municipality MP Jimmy Akena whose father and former president, the late Milton Obote founded the Uganda People's Party, has been allowed nomination papers to take a shot at the Party’s Presidency.

By John Agaba

Lira Municipality MP Jimmy Akena whose father and former president, the late Milton Obote founded the Uganda People's Party, has been allowed nomination papers to take a shot at the Party’s Presidency.


This was revealed during a press briefing at the UPC Party headquarters at Uganda House, Kampala, at about midday. But, before that, members of the Party hierarchy had been locked in an intense meeting all morning.

Akena entered the Party’s headquarters at about midday, just when the briefing was starting.

The Party president, Olara Otunnu, started the briefing describing Akena's actions to drag the Party to court over leadership furore as a “legal nuisance, and a cloud that has been hanging unjustly over the Party.”

“Nobody (had) blocked Akena (from UPC presidential nomination). Unlike the other aspirants, Akena made a conscious political decision to remain outside the nomination process, even though he was fully aware of the requirements and deadline,” said Olara Otunnu.

“The truth of the matter is that, for a long time now, the Akena /Pulkol group ( ) has sought in every way to delegitimize and block the elected Party leadership, and to set up a parallel structure outside the party constitutional authority.”

But, to focus on the bigger picture, Otunnu told the press, that the party (UPC) had decided, “as an exceptional measure, to avail Akena the nomination papers.”

The Uganda People’s Congress, one of Uganda’s oldest political parties, went into recession after its founding president, Dr. Milton Obote was ousted in 1985.

Any anticipations of its revival, with the coming of Olara Otuunu, a long-time diplomat at the UN, have been curtailed with some factions in the Party not convinced Otunnu is the man to lead the party to its ‘former glory’.

When Jimmy Akena and David Pulkol petitioned court over Otunnu’s Presidency, and court, on May 6, ruled in favor of Otunnu, some factions predicted the beginning of the party's fall.

But, at Monday’s briefing, especially when Otuunu revealed that Akena had been allowed nomination papers for the Party’s Presidency, there was some ray of hope restored, with some members attending the briefing clapping to the announcement.

“It is manifestly clear that Akena has no grounds whatsoever — arising from stipulations of the Party Constitution, the laws of the land, the court ruling, or normal claims of natural justice, fairness and transparency — to demand the reopening of the nomination process. But, we have elected to focus on the bigger picture — the bigger picture for the party and for the country,” Otuunu said.

All this time Akena sat cross-legged, behind the speaking Party President, motionless.

At the briefing, Otunnu revealed that eight nominations (for the Party’s Presidency) have been approved and forwarded by the Party’s Electoral Commission to the district conference.

Among the approved names include, the party’s current Vice President, Joseph Bbosa, Prof. Edward Kakonge, the party’s national chairperson,  Sam Wandeka, Julius Ocen, and Jimmy Akena.

Others included David Pulkol, Benson Ogwal and Daniel Okello. 

Akena reiterated the need for unity and building of stronger grass root structures that “can bring the Party together”.

Dennis Olwit from Lira said allowing Akena to contest for the party’s Presidency will help blend some unity among the party members. “The standoff was unnecessary. We are glad it has been resolved.”

Also related to this story

Otunnu to quit UPC party presidency

UPC MPs lose case against Otunnu

UPC elections loom amid controversies
 

Akena okayed for UPC party presidency

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