Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The National Unity Platform-NUP will back the Alliance for National Transformation-ANT candidate, Alice Alaso in the Serere County Parliamentary by-election.
Speaking at a media briefing on Tuesday, the NUP Spokesperson Joel Ssenyonyi said that while two party members, Jerry Okello, and Joel Obore, expressed interest in carrying the NUP flag during the election, they unanimously decided to put their support behind Alaso because they believe in the unity of the opposition and the competence of Alaso, who has previously served as a Member of Parliament.
Obore, who had expressed interest in the by-election said he found no hardship in stepping aside to give chance to Alaso when approached by the party’s leadership because he believes the opposition has one goal.
Two weeks ago, ANT unveiled Alaso and the party principal Mugisha Muntu asked other opposition political parties to embrace her candidature and not front another opposition candidate. However, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) defied this call by announcing Emmanuel Eratu as their candidate for the election, declining to embrace Alaso’s candidature which adds to the growing political tension as different opposition parties compete for support in the upcoming election.
Jolly Mugisha, the NUP Vice President for Western Region, asked FDC to rescind their decision and join the United Forces of Change. “FDC I know you are tied to a candidate of your own but we are calling upon you to join us in the United Forces of Change,” she said.
The Serere County parliamentary seat fell vacant following the death of Patrick Okabe who along with his wife Christine died in an accident along the Mbale-Tirinyi route on December 19, 2022.
David Lewis Rubongoya, the NUP General Secretary thanked all NUP members who had shown interest in running for the seat but stepped down when they were asked to do so.
According to the roadmap issued by the electoral commission earlier in January, the nomination of candidates will take place on February 9 and 10, 2023 at the Serere District Returning Officer’s office followed by campaign meetings that will last only nine days from February 13 to February 21, and elections will take place on February 23.
Meanwhile, Rubongoya, re-echoed NUP’s call to the government security agencies to release their party supporters who have been illegally arrested. According to Rubongoya, the list of abductees that was previously provided to the Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission, Mariam Wangadya, which had 25 people is constantly growing, with more cases being reported.
Rubongoya also disputed the claims made by the Prime Minister that some of the abductions go unreported to the police.