The NRM party is set for the nomination of the President on November 2
The Electoral Commission has cleared President Yoweri Museveni, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) flag-bearer, for nominations.
According to EC, by October 18 Museveni was the only aspirant who had been cleared. Only two weeks are left to the nominations scheduled for November 2 and 3.
Speaking to journalists at the NRM offices in Kampala on Sunday, Justine Kasule Lumumba, the secretary general of NRM, said EC had okayed Museveni's candidature and gave him a certificate of compliance with the verification of supporters for nomination of candidates for presidential elections.
"We submitted five million signatures of people endorsing Museveni and have received a certificate from EC for him to be nominated for the presidential race," Lumumba said.
She said the party was set for the nomination of President Museveni on November 2.
New portrait unveiled
Flanked by deputy secretary general Richard Todwong and NRM treasurer Rose Namayanja among other senior party officials, Lumumba also unveiled a portrait of President Museveni, as the party's presidential flag-bearer.
Party spokesperson Emmanuel Dombo told New Vision that Museveni was the first to be cleared because they submitted their signatures early for verification and clearing.
According to the EC, as of Sunday, 14 presidential aspirants had returned the signed nomination forms.
An aspirant must provide on the form, the contact details of the voters endorsing the nomination, including telephone number, national identification number and the voter's number.
Only three presidential aspirants who have so far returned forms are sponsored by political parties: Museveni, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu of National Unity Platform (NUP) and Charles Bbaale of the Ecological Party.
Eleven others include Gen. Henry Tumukunde, Joseph Kabuleta and Elizabeth Lugudde-Katwe, who happens to be the only female aspirant on the list. Lugudde-Katwe previously served in the office of the NRM chairperson.
Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu (Alliance for National Transformation) Patrick Amuriat (Forum for Democratic Change) and Norbert Mao (Democratic Party) are yet to submit nomination forms. The EC had set Friday October 16, as the deadline for submission.
FDC still in race
FDC deputy secretary general Harold Kaija said the party was still gathering signatures.
"Just know that our candidate is in the race and the EC is aware of that," he said.
ANT deputy national coordinator in charge of finance and administration, Alice Alaso said their flag-bearer will have his forms returned to the EC on Monday.
Fred Mwesigwa, the DP president general's spokesman, told New Vision that they are fi nalising collection of signatures and will submit them this week.
In a social media statement, Robert Kyagulanyi said they had earlier collected millions of signatures, but these were seized by security operatives who raided their office. He said they had quickly collected 33,000 signatures from 109 districts after the incident. These were submitted to EC.
"The number of signatures required for nomination is 9,800 (100 signatures from 98 districts). So, we surpassed the required number by far," Kyagulanyi said.
Polling in January 2021
In related development, New Vision has also learnt EC will announce the polling day for the presidential elections after the nomination of presidential candidates on November 2 and 3.
However, sources have said presidential and parliamentary elections will be held in mid- January 2021, unlike the previous elections that were held in mid-February.
The change is due to amendments made when Parliament passed the age limit law, that were aimed at providing more time for the handling petitions challenging the presidential election results and holding a byelection in the event results are nullified.
Under the amendments, presidential elections must be held at least 120 days before expiry of the current term of the president. Previously it was 90 days.
The elections will be held between January 10, 2021 and February 8, 2021, according to sources.