News and Views

List of EALA nominees out

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By John Odyek and Joyce Namutebi

The controversy surrounding nomination of candidates to the East African Legislative Assembly is almost over after parties submitted their candidates for the nine slots.

Jane Kibirige, clerk to Parliament Monday presented a list of candidates who had satisfied the requirements for nominations.

Kibirige’s list was read to an election fever pitched House by Parliamentary Commissioner also Kinkizi East MP Dr. Chris Baryomunsi.

The total number of nominees was nine. Those from the opposition are Dr. Edward Kayondo (CP), Chris Opoka-Okumu (UPC), and Fred Mukasa Mbidde (DP). The other six candidates were from the NRM namely Dora Byamukama, Daniel Kidega, Margaret Zziwa, Bernard Mulengani, Mike Kennedy Sebalu and Nusura Tiperu.

Two candidates Louis Dramadri (FDC), Kenneth Paul Kakande (DP) had been nominated but their candidatures were withdrawn by the Secrertary Generals of their parties. AAI-Kingo Morodokai Bushnell (Vicks Kingo) was not nominated by any party, neither was he an independent, but he got 20 signatures from MPs which was part of the requirements for nominations.

A verification committee to vet independent candidates chaired by Butambala Woman MP Mariam Nalubega also presented eight successful candidates nominated to stand independent of any political party or orgnaisation. These are Ben Wacha, Susan Nakawuki, Moses Nuwagaba, Martin Wandera, Jack Nsubuga, Andrew Nuwabiine, Nicolas Babigumira and Mugisha Twinomugisha.

Other hopefuls Robert Araali Tusiime and Jeremiah Birungi Kamurali who sought to contest as an independent candidates were not successful, while one candidate Dennis Namara withdraw his candidature. Tusiime reportedly had documents bearing inconsistencies relating to his age and years of study, while Kamurali did not submit complete documents for his nomination. Kamurali brought some documents after nominations had closed besides attaching his NRM party card “accidentally”.

Quoting a letter from FDC Secretary General Alice Alaso, the clerk said Dramadri had purported to have been nominated by Alaso and seconded by 20 MPs. “Alaso wrote stating that Dramadri was an imposter and fraudster. She requested Parliament to disregard the nomination. Dramadri wrote withdrawing his candidature citing his party’s decision to withdraw from EALA elections,” the Clerk said.

The clerk said she wrote asking Alaso and Dramadri to write a joint letter withdrawing the candidature as required by the Rules of Procedure for the elections but they have not responded.

The clerk stated that Kakande was nominated by Vincent Mayanja, deputy secretary general of DP and was supported by 20 MPs. “However I was verbally informed by Mathias Nsubuga that in his capacity as secretary general of DP, he had not authorized Mayanja or anyone else to nominate any candidate on behalf of DP”.

The House was also informed that Opoka was nominated by the secretary general of UPC Jacinto Ogwal and was supported by 20 MPs. “However, on 24 May 2012 I received a letter signed by Mr. Olara Otunnu, the President of UPC, with drawing the purported nomination of Chris Opoka-Okumu.”

Oyam South MP Betty Amongi UPC whip in Parliament however backed Okumu’s nomination, saying he was supported by the party.

Similarly Ken Lukyamuzi, president of CP also wrote to the clerk withdrawing the nomination of Kayondo. However, the clerk told the House that Kayondo was nominated by Walyemera DM, who according to the Electoral Commission is the legitimate CP Secretary General.

The clerk said she had verified with the Electoral Commission to ascertain who were the secretary generals of CP, FDC, UPC and DP.

The Electoral Commission also confirmed that from the list of registered political parties that Alaso was secretary general of FDC, Nsubuga was secretary general of DP and Jacinto Ogwal was secretary general of UPC.

Peter Ochieng, deputy secretary general of DP wrote to the clerk seeking to withdraw Mbidde’s candidature but the clerk wrote back explaining that a withdrawal can only be made by both the candidate and the secretary general of the party.

Rebecca Kadaga, speaker of Parliament asked the clerk to prepare ballot papers for the elections scheduled for tomorrow. Kadaga said each candidate would be given a few minutes to campaign before voting and the exercise would start at 9.00am. She stressed that the clerk would iron out any issues surrounding candidates and she would publish names of candidates for display today.  “There are so many factions in political parties and we cannot resolve them in Parliament,” Kadaga said.

At the end of the day the speaker told the Clerk to produce in writing the letters ascertaining the rightful Secretaries General of the Parties.

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