As the clock ticks to the October 16 deadline, only three presidential aspirants have so far submitted signatures supporting their candidature to the Electoral Commission for verification.
Speaking to URN, Paul Bukenya, the acting spokesperson of the Electoral Commission said, the National Resistance Movement whose candidate is the incumbent President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Henry Tumukunde, an independent and the Ecological Party of Uganda’s Charles Bbaale, are the only ones who have submitted signatures.
According to the Presidential Elections Act, a person qualifies to contest as a candidate if he/she is 18 years and above, his/her nomination is supported by 100 registered voters from two thirds of all districts of Uganda (98 districts) and has paid UGX20million, among others. “They are supposed to submit those signatures at least two weeks before nomination, to enable the Commission to verify them,” said Bukenya.
During the verification, the Commission confirms, the names, personal identification number, physical address and signature of the voter supporting the nomination tally.
On October 2, the NRM submitted over five million signatures to the Electoral Commission supporting Museveni’s candidacy.
In a statement, the party boasted of being a mass organization with capacity to receive signatures that are over and above what the Electoral Commission actually requires.
Last week, Tumukunde, a former minister who broke ranks with President Museveni early last year also submitted his signatures.
Speaking to URN, Joel Sseyonyi, the spokesperson of the National Unity Platform said they are in advanced stages of collecting their own signatures supporting the candidacy of Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine. “A number of signatures have already come through but others are coming in today and tomorrow because some of our people were insisting on getting more than those required, that’s why they have delayed. But certainly, we shall beat the deadline without a doubt,” said Ssenyonyi.
For the Alliance for National Transformation whose candidate is Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu, they are also in advanced stages of getting signatures.
Speaking to URN, Sulaiman Kakaire, the deputy spokesperson said that their coordinators are in the field gathering data. “Our people are already gathering them; we hope by Friday we shall have submitted them to the Electoral Commission,” said Kakaire
FDC’s Amuiriat Oboi who was also elected unopposed last week as the party’s flag bearer told the press at the party’s headquarters in Najjanankumbi that they will be submitting their own signatures on Wednesday October 14. On the other hand, the Democratic Party that recently elected Norbert Mao as their presidential flag bearer said although they are also collecting the signatures, they are not time bound by the directives of the Electoral Commission to submit them two weeks before nomination day.
“It’s our right to participate in this election and we shall submit the signatures any time we get them even on nomination day because there is nothing under the law that stops us from doing so,” said Enoch Okoler, the spokesperson.
The Electoral Commission will be nominating Presidential Candidates on November 2-3. It should be recalled that over 60 people expressed interest in challenging President Museveni for the top job in Uganda by picking nomination forms. However, with only four days left to the deadline of submitting signatures to the Electoral Commission for verification, there is doubt whether all those who picked nomination forms will return them.
www.mknewslink.com a greater western Uganda news website