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Thursday,October 29,2020 04:56 AM

DP clears Mao for 2021 elections

By Jeff Andrew Lule

Added 22nd January 2020 05:16 AM

The party secretary general, Dr. Gerald Siranda said though Mao has not yet expressed interest in competing for the same position, he is still free to stand.

DP clears Mao for 2021 elections

Gerald Siranda (right), the Democratic Party’s secretary general addressing the media team as Kamya Kasozi, the communications manager, Democratic Party looks on during a press briefing in Kampala recently. (Photo by Jimmy Outa)

The party secretary general, Dr. Gerald Siranda said though Mao has not yet expressed interest in competing for the same position, he is still free to stand.

POLITICS

The sitting President General of the Democratic Party (DP), Norbert Mao has a chance to stand again for the top most position of the party leadership.

The party secretary general, Dr. Gerald Siranda said though Mao has not yet expressed interest in competing for the same position, he is still free to stand.

"Mao is free to come and stand again if he so wishes. Our constitution does not have limits. It is up to the delegates to amend it," he said on Tuesday. DP is preparing to hold its National Delegates Conference (NDC) on March 28th to 31st, 2020, in Gulu, where they will elect the party's new leadership.

Those interested are supposed to pick their nomination forms from March 13th to 16.

In a separate interview with the New Vision, after the party's weekly press briefing at the party headquarters at City House in Kampala on Tuesday, Siranda stressed that the delegates have the powers to amend the constitution if they find it necessary for the good of the party.

"It is within the mandate of the delegates to amend the party constitution and include term limits for the president. But as per now, nothing stops Mao from standing again," he noted.

According to the party constitution, the party president automatically becomes the party's presidential flag bearer.

If Mao stands and wins again, he will be serving his third term and will be facing off with other leaders during the selection of a joint presidential candidate under the DP Block alliance.

The DP Block  brings together DP, Social Democratic Party (SDP), Peoples Development Party (PDP) and Truth for Justice

One of the party members only identified as Hassan said Mao needs to spearhead the move to introduce term limits like in the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party to give way for other people  to serve their party.

"Where will the party get the moral authority to talk about President Yoweri Museveni when we have no term limits in our own party?" he said.

While addressing journalists, the party's National Organising Secretary, Sulaiman Kidandala, said their internal election roadmap must be before that of the electoral commission (EC) to allow the presidential candidate and other aspiring candidates at parliamentary and local government level ample time to prepare for national elections.

"DP programme will be concluded in three months. We shall then generate a joint candidates' list before start of nominations as per the election calendar.

We shall go into primaries to select joint parliamentary and local government candidates before submission to the Electoral Commission  (EC) of all flag bearers/candidates as selected under the DP bloc arrangement," he explained.

The party's publicity secretary, Kenneth Kakande said the roadmap stipulates the various activities and programs to be undertaken in preparation for the 2021 elections.

"This is going to help us institute and strengthen our grass-root structures right from villages to district level," he said.

Kakande said the arrangement of one-to-one strategy will help the Opposition to have at least a candidate in every elective position. "With this arrangement, we shall have a more competitive race without dividing votes like before. That is why we call on all opposition parties to join this cause to easily floor NRM," he added.

Kakande said the Opposition and all pro-change forces need to put their petty issues aside and unite to cause the change Ugandans deserve.

"As DP, we will do whatever it takes to achieve this unity. And we call upon the rest of Ugandans to wage war against anti-coalition agents disguising as opposition," Kakande said.

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