National Resistance Movement (NRM) party officials have indicated that the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) could lose out in the race to fill Uganda’s nine places in the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA).
Appearing on the NBS TV political show Frontline on Thursday night, the NRM Electoral Commission chairman Dr. Tanga Odoi said that FDC should stop “chest thumping” and negotiate as they bid for EALA places.
Odoi said the NRM government will not support a party that has been saying they have formed an alternative government. He also added that since all the six NRM candidates are new to EALA and need to be nurtured, the current DP, UPC and the Independent representatives to Arusha will be considered to do that.
“I can say it with complete confidence, you will not get the two slots filled, without that political party having some seemingly good cooperation with NRM,” Tanga Odoi said. “Politics has the issue of space. If you do not take advantage of that space, you lose out in politics.”
“You cannot form a government, declare yourself a president…then you expect this other side of government will easily support you,” he said.
About continuity, he said “we cannot dismember Uganda’s representation in EALA by taking completely a new brand of people day in day out. We should have some historicals to nature the rest.”
With the term of the six NRM representatives having expired, the current historicals are DP’s Fred Mukasa Mbidde, UPC’s Chris Opoka and independent Susan Nakawuki.
“Political parties should have sat earlier and negotiated a way out. If they say it is chest thumping, the moment we picked six, know we are not losing one. These six we picked must be nurtured, and therefore either UPC, DP or the Independent will nurture them”
He was supported by Executive Director of The Media Centre and Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo.
“FDC have been saying they have an alternative government… that alternative govt means an executive and parliament. It is inconceivable that this FDC can now want to present candidates in another state. They have disqualified themselves,” Ofwono said.
“We want to send this message to the FDC that they cannot continue behaving with belligerence. If you, know your numerical strength is simply 36 MPs, please swallow your pride and come to the negotiating table.”
The ruling party NRM this week picked Mary Mugyenyi, George Odongo, Paul Musamali, Denis Namara, Rose Akol and Matthias Kasamba to contest for six of the nine Uganda places to EALA.
With one place reserved for the independents, the other parties were expected to field one candidate each. UPC and DP have fielded one each, Mbidde and Opoka respectively, but FDC has gone ahead to field two, saying as the leading opposition party they deserve both places.
Florence Ibi Ekwau and Ingrid Turinawe have been entered for the race by FDC.
According to EALA rules, members elected shall in as much as it is feasible represent- (a) political parties represented in the National Assembly; (b) shades of opinion; (c) gender; and (d) special interest groups in that Parbrer State. (4) At least one third of the elected members shall reflect either gender
The focus of the Frontline was the fracas at State House during the NRM EALA candidates election, the battle within the opposition, and the relevance of the regional body.
Also appearing on the Frontline was former minister Maria Matembe, former EALA MP Yona Kanyomozi, DP president Nobert Mao and vice president Mbidde. Charles Odongtho was moderator.