Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Two National Resistance Movement (NRM) Members of Parliament have dismissed a resolution by the party’s top decision making organ-the Central Executive Committee (CEC) endorsing President Yoweri Museveni as sole candidate in the 2021 elections.
Museveni’s sole candidature was resolved this week after a 5-day CEC retreat in Chobe Safari Lodge in Nwoya district which he chaired.
Felix Okot Ogong representing Dokolo South described CEC’s resolution as a non- starter, advising that the party organ should wait for the time of election of presidential flag bearer as stated in the party’s constitution.
He criticized the CEC proposal, also noting that the decision could have been reached in duress since President Museveni is also chairman of the top party organ.
He added that CEC’s resolution is one of the plots that have been made previously to ensure that President Museveni continues leading the country without any competition.
Lyomoki also described the CEC decision as a “nullity, unconstitutional, illegality and a scheme aimed at personal interests” which are not supported by the party’s constitution.
“Our Constitution does not mandate CEC or whichever organ of the Movement to pass sole candidate, the Constitution provides for election of the flag bearer of NRM through the National Conference,” said Lyomoki in a telephone interview.
Lyomoki who has several times expressed interest in the presidential seat said that what CEC did is propaganda and that it will not stop him from standing and contesting for the party presidential flag.
He further said that the resolution to have Museveni run on the party flag in 2021 and beyond is against the core values of the NRM which among others include democracy and that CEC cannot come up with a resolution which is against provisions of an election under the constitution.
On 28th January 2019, Lyomoki wrote to the NRM Secretary General, Justine Kasule Lumumba criticizing an earlier released party road map to the 2021 general elections.
“We have had an opportunity to look at this road map and note that regarding the party flag bearer for the presidential candidate you provide for the preparation and presentation of the NRM Presidential candidate to the National Electoral Commission without indicating when the primaries for this flag bearer shall take place in a fully-fledged free, fair and transparent democratic process in accordance with our party Constitution,” writes Lyomoki.
In the letter, Lyomoki adds that the wording by the Secretary-General appears to be a veiled attempt to orchestrate and smuggle into the upcoming 2021 elections the concept of ‘sole candidate’, an illegal, self-serving and undemocratic practice that has been forced onto the party for long.
Lyomoki says that he is yet to receive a response to the issues he raised.
MPs Ogong and Workers Representative Sam Lyomoki have in the past expressed interest in running for the party’s presidential flag bearer.
Ogong picked nomination forms in 2005 to contest against Museveni as the NRM flag bearer for the 2006 elections. CEC eventually advised and kicked Ogong out of the race.
Lyomoki, despite several declarations to run against Museveni for the party ticket, has never successfully picked nomination forms.
The former NRM Secretary General Amama Mbabazi and Captain Daudi Ruhinda Maguru were also in the recent past locked out by party organ resolutions.
Ruhinda Maguru says that the decision by the party’s top organ is just a wish and not a final position for Uganda since it’s only Ugandans who will determine the leadership of the Country.
“And also leaders are determined by God, not by individuals. It is not CEC that determines who should lead this country, at the end of the day, God will make a decision, and those are wishes,” said Maguru in a brief telephone interview.
According to Article 39 of the NRM Constitution, all members of the NRM who meet national legal requirements shall be eligible to become candidates for NRM at various levels. The Article further states that for every elective national and local government office, there shall be primaries held to determine candidates with the Presidential Candidate being elected by the National Conference.
After the 2014 NRM Parliamentary Caucus Kyankwanzi resolution for Museveni to be unchallenged as the party’s flag bearer for the 2016 polls, the President said that the resolution was meant to boost party cohesion.