In the 2019–20 NRM roadmap, dates have been set to conduct primaries for the different slots with the exception of the presidential candidate
Workers' MP Sam Lyomoki has declared his intention to contest for the nation‘s highest office in the next general elections that are slated for 2021.
Lyomoki also revealed that he intends to challenge President Yoweri Museveni for the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party flag.
He said the party has for long been fronting a single candidate whenever it comes to the position of president, which he called "unfair and undemocratic."
Lyomoki accused the NRM party of acting unconstitutionally and thus not giving a chance to other members of the party who have expressed interest in contesting for the presidency under the party's flag. He demanded that the party add primaries for the presidential candidate to its road map.
In the 2019-20 NRM roadmap, dates have been set to conduct primaries for the different slots such as the parliamentary and local government positions with the exception of the presidential candidate who according to the NRM spokesperson Rogers Mulindwa, is chosen by the party's top organ, the Central Executive Committee (CEC).
"We noted as the NRM progressives that when it comes to the presidential candidate they provide for the representation without indicating where these primaries will be held for a free and fair democratic process in accordance with our NRM constitution," Lyomoki said.
"To us as progressives, we see it as an attempt to orchestrate and smuggle into the upcoming 2021 election the concept of a sole candidate which is self-serving and undemocratic practice that has been forced on the party for long," he added.
Lyomoki said that he is ready to petition court this time round if the party does not adhere to their concerns.
"They should organise free and fair elections even for the position of president in order to have smooth transition of power within the party, several people within the party including me are interested in that position as well," Lyomoki asserted.
"I know that what we are raising affects our father the President who is also our mentor because we are members of the party and we are doing it with tears in our eyes, but we have been forced to come out and take this direction," he said.
Backing his colleague in his presidential bid, James Acidri (Maracha East County MP) said Lyomoki has a right to contest and pledged to support him, adding that the aspect of sole candidature is not in the interest of democracy.
"He has been in Parliament for five terms and he has all that it takes to be president, we shall be here to support him," said Acidri.
When contacted, Rogers Mulindwa the NRM spokesperson dispelled Lyomoki's statements as baseless.
"These people are simply looking for media attention, there was nothing like passing a sole candidate, that is usually done at the CEC meeting where the candidates are chosen and CEC for that matter has not yet sat," Mulindwa said.
This however is not the first time Lyomoki has declared his intention to contest for presidency. The lawmaker made a similar declaration for the 2016 general elections but this did not come to pass.
He however said that he is more than committed this time to run for presidency on the NRM ticket.
Lyomoki is among the 27 NRM MPs that were opposed to the bill that amended the presidential age limit which was passed by Parliament and signed into law by the President in December 2017.