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Akena wins UPC presidency primaries

By Patrick Kagenda

Son of founding father promises to return party to `sound footing’

Two weeks after he was allowed to contest for the party presidency, Jimmy Akena appears set to follow in the footsteps of his father, UPC founding father and two time former Uganda president; the late Milton Obote.

That is after Akena securing overwhelming support in the party primaries by a majority vote of over 70%. Akena won in 67 UPC district conferences out of the designated 112 party district conferences.

Jimmy Akena led his fellow party presidency contenders with 67 votes, while the current party vice president Joseph Bbosa got 11 votes. Party Chairman Edward Kakonge got 2 votes while David Pulkol who with Akena had given the Otunnu administration a running for its survival got 12 votes.

Other party presidency contenders who include Steven Wandeka got 0, Benson Obua-Ogwal 1, Julius Ochen 9, David Nyote 4, and Lira UPC Chairman Dan Okello got 0. There were 4 disputed votes while two district conferences members did not vote. Out of a total of 112 districts, the UPC electoral commission got returns from 106 districts.

Jimmy Akena`s win in the district conferences under the UPC constitution means he becomes the party presidential sole candidate.

“With Akena having garnered over 70% in the party primaries vote, he is the only candidate who has met the requirement to be a candidate for Party President at the Delegates Conference, if there are no challenges or petitions,” said Okello Lucima; the UPC spokesperson.

Akena was endorsed by 67 districts where a total of 106 district conference members voted for him.

“Akena`s win at the primaries means when the National Council convenes it  will do nothing on his election but the Delegates Conference will either confirm him or do whatever else it may,” said Lucima.

District Conferences are the key in the nomination process for candidates under UPC Constitution Article 11. 2 (6)   where it says the duties of the District Conference is to nominate by majority vote a candidate for the Party Presidency.

The UPC constitution further says that elections at district conferences is the process of nomination of a candidate. It is the Delegates conference which is mandated by Article 13.2 (5) of the UPC constitution which says, the Duties and Powers of the Delegates Conference is to Elect the Party President who shall be the leader of the Party and its flag bearer at a general election from candidates approved by a majority vote of at least one third of all District Conferences.

Canon David Nyote, the UPC electoral commission chairman, while announcing Akena`s win said, the process has been free and fair.

“I do not expect anybody to run to courts of law. The results are evident and say it all for themselves,” said the soft spoken man of God.

Akena in the 2010 UPC party presidency elections was second to Otunnu who offered him the post of party vice president which he declined to take on.

Commenting on his success Akena told The Independent, “the people have spoken.

“What is remaining is for us to return the party to its sound footing,” he said.

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