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Proposal on lining up in NRM polls draws mixed reactions

FILE PHOTO; NRM Central Executive Committee meeting.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | There are mixed reactions amongst members of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party on a proposal by the party’s top organ-the Central Executive Committee (CEC), endorsing lining up as a mode of holding internal elections.

The proposal that was sanctioned at the opening of a 5-day retreat of the CEC on Saturday is aimed at reducing the cost of conducting internal elections. It is also envisaged that lining up will reduce the number of petitions filed by persons who are not satisfied with the outcome of the internal elections, according to NRM Spokesperson Rogers Mulindwa.

It will now be introduced to the National Executive Committee (NEC) and the District Executive Committee (DEC) for the amendment of the Party Constitution before it’s enforced.

Otuke Woman MP Sylvia Akello says lining up will propel democratic elections within the party. She, however, appealed to CEC to equally consider a reduction in nomination fees for those seeking the party ticket. Persons seeking nomination for parliamentary seats pay 2million Shillings each according to the guidelines issues in 2015 in the run-up to the 2016 elections.

However, Akello says the fees are prohibitive.

Kumi Woman MP Monica Amoding says that despite not being the best option, lining-up is more acceptable compared to electoral colleges that were earlier used during the election of women MPs.

Kyaka south MP, Jackson Kafuzi is optimistic that lining up will put an end to reports of ballot staffing that had put the credibility of internal elections in balance, and forced many NRM members to contest as independent candidates.

Bbaale County MP, George Wilson Nsamba Kumama equally welcomed the proposal by CEC saying that it will reduce corruption in the party’s internal elections.

However, Kitagwenda County MP Abbas Agaba dissented with the proposal of lining up saying that there is a need to maintain the secret ballot system so that people’s choices are kept away from the public.

Agaba added that democracy comes at a cost, which NRM must endure instead of hiding behind the absence of money to force people into lining up.

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