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FDC stuck on how to select candidates, demands for EC guidelines

By Jeff Andrew Lule

Added 21st July 2020 06:13 PM

Addressing journalists at the party’s weekly press briefing at the party headquarters in Najjanankumbi, a Kampala suburb, the party’s mouth piece Ibrahim Semujju Nganda said parties are facing a tricky situation on how to identify their candidates which they have to present to commission.

FDC stuck on how to select candidates, demands for EC guidelines

Addressing journalists at the party’s weekly press briefing at the party headquarters in Najjanankumbi, a Kampala suburb, the party’s mouth piece Ibrahim Semujju Nganda said parties are facing a tricky situation on how to identify their candidates which they have to present to commission.

FDC | ELECTIONS | POLITICS

As the Electoral Commission prepares to hold nominations for Special Needs Persons, parties remain stuck on the next on how to identify and select their candidates.

The commission is set to nominate Special Needs Persons including; youth, People with Disabilities (PwDs) and the elderly beginning July 29th, 2020.

All parties are supposed to present their candidates, but the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) leading opposition party wonders how this can be possible if parties are not allowed to assemble members and hold primaries.

Addressing journalists at the party's weekly press briefing at the party headquarters in Najjanankumbi, a Kampala suburb, the party's mouth piece Ibrahim Semujju Nganda said parties are facing a tricky situation on how to identify their candidates which they have to present to commission.

"So how do we identify and select our candidates if we cannot hold primaries. We can't do anything. Unless when EC is to chose for us candidates, the process seems tricky for us," he noted.

  FDC spokes person Semujju Nganda adressing journalists at the FDC headquaters at Najjanankumbi on Monday 1 July 2019. (Photo by Ivan Kabuye.)
FDC spokes person Semujju Nganda adressing journalists at the FDC headquaters at Najjanankumbi on Monday 1 July 2019. (Photo by Ivan Kabuye.)

Semujju stressed that the EC released a roadmap without guidelines on how the parties are supposed to hold their primaries to choose/select their candidates leaving them in a dilemma.

However, FDC instructed all their village electoral committees countrywide to work within the prevailing circumstances to complete candidate identification and selection.

"Where there is more than one candidate, the committee should use consensus building first. If all fails, primaries must be organized immediately in accordance with the provision of the FDC Constitution," he said.

He urged village mainstream committees to hunt for candidates where no member has expressed interest.

The party is also slated to hold primaries for sub county candidates (LCIII chairpersons and all councilors for LCIII, IV and V) between July 26 to 30th.  

Primaries for Town and Municipal Councils (mayors) will be held between August 10th to 13th, District Chairpersons and Woman MPs (August 14th to 15th), directly elected MPs primaries will be held from August 16th to 20th.

The nomination for presidential candidates is to take place between July 30 to August 3rd at the party headquarters.

Besigye remains silent  

The party also remains uncertain on whether their former leader now turned political activist, Dr. Col Warren Kizza Besigye will compete for the presidential flag bearer again.

Besigye who now works as the party's mobiliser for Rukungiri district has been the party's flag bearer three times in the row since 2006, losing to his nemesis and incumbent, Gen. Yoweri Museveni from the ruling  National Resistance Movement (NRM).

Semujju told journalists that they are waiting for the nominations to take place.

Besigye campaigning in Makindye. Photo By Godfrey Kimono
Besigye campaigning in Makindye. Photo By Godfrey Kimono

Party disowns errant MPs

At the same briefing, Semujju clarified that those MPs whose nominations were rejected, had flouted the party requirements, and had already left the FDC.

"Those colleagues had left the party long time ago, but lacked the courage to say so. That is why we are not shocked," he added.

He noted that their leaving does not affect the party like some sections of the media have been portraying it as a meltdown.

"FDC is strong and will remain the strongest political institution. If you fail to meet the required qualifications for you to be nominated, don't blame anyone else. The party recognises every member's contribution but does not tolerate indiscipline," he added.

Semujju cited a the former minister of agriculture, Fabius Byaruhanga who was not nominated for arriving late in Kitagwenda, like some members of FDC   who were rejected in various districts.

Several FDC MPs including Nabilah Nagayi (Kampala MP), Angella Osege (Soroti Woman MP), Robert Centenary (Kasese Municipality),   Jackson Mbaju (Busongora County South) and Elija Okupa (Kasilo County) were allegedly rejected by the party leadership in their respective districts for various reasons.

Nabilah after being rejected by FDC at the party offices in Najjanankumbi recently.
Nabilah after being rejected by FDC at the party offices in Najjanankumbi recently.

"Unlike other platforms where candidates are handpicked, FDC has robust process it follows to get candidates. This process of candidate selection, colour, origin and size does not matter. Some people think being an MP is a big thing and can do what they want," he said.

Adding; "In FDC we follow standards. No one is big or small. We don't have veterans or historical in FDC. The biggest person in FDC is the one who buys a party card". 

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