Independent candidates have failed to convince parliament to change the procedure of Uganda’s East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) elections due on Tuesday.
The candidates protested the order to be followed during tomorrow’s campaigns, appealing to the Clerk to Parliament to instead arrange their names in alphabetical order. The 47 candidates are vying to represent the country at the Arusha based East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) for the period 2017 – 2022.
According to parliament’s website, the list puts incumbent DP candidate, Fred Mukasa Mbidde ahead of others, followed by FDC’s Florence Ibi, Ingrid Turinawe and NRM’s six candidates Rose Akol, Paul Musamali, Mary Mugyenyi, Mathias Kasamba, Denis Namara and George Odong.
The list then has UPC’s incumbent Christopher Opoka, before 37 independent candidates.
The candidates claimed that the list was unfair and put some of them at an advantage, as Members of Parliament (MPs), the majority of whom belong to the NRM may walk out after listening to their party candidates and not waiting for the independents.
The Clerk to Parliament, Jane Kibirige dismissed this, saying that that the list issued was originated by the Verification Committee set up by the speaker to examine documents submitted by all aspirants.
“Your success will depend on how you convince the Members of Parliament during the campaigns, not the order of names,” said Kibirige. Voting will be by secret ballot by Members of Parliament and nine will be picked to represent Uganda.
Although candidates complained that guidelines had been issued late, the Director Department of Legal and Legislative Affairs, Pius Biribonohwa said that candidates should have followed what is provided for in the Parliament Rules of Procedure.
The Clerk’s programme shows that each of the candidates will be allotted seven minutes to campaign during the sitting that will commence at 10.00am.