DP Leaders Split Over Selection of EALA Candidate
By Serestino Tusingwire
A row has erupted among top leaders of the opposition Democratic Party over the selection of party candidates for the forthcoming East African Legislative Assembly elections.
The row, which pits DP president Norbert Mao and the party’s national chairman Mohamed Baswale Kezaala follows a decision by the party National Executive Committee to endorse Fred Mukasa Mbidde, the incumbent as the DP candidate for EALA without going through primaries.
“Eventually, the NEC decided unanimously that Mbidde retains his seat for another term since it is the party decision to have the seating MPs exempted from the party primaries,” Mao said.
According to Kezaala ring-fencing party positions is against the DP constitution.
“We should have opened it up to the entire membership of DP not just restricting it to NEC members because DP is not a political party for the 40 NEC members only.” Kezaala said.
He added that Mbidde’s endorsement needs to be revisited in the next NEC meeting to maintain cohesion in the party.
However, Mao maintains that it was NEC decision and has to be implemented.
“That’s the decision of NEC and it has to be implemented. It’s okay to disagree with the decision but disobeying it has consequences.” Mao threatened.
Uganda, like four other East African countries has nine throats in EALA. NRM, the majority party in parliament sends six members; the remaining three are shared by the opposition and independents.
News members are due to be elected in May next year.