The Central Executive Committee of Uganda’s ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party has reportedly rejected the NRM caucus resolution endorsing President Yoweri Museveni as the sole party candidate ahead of the 2016 general election.
The position of the committee was reportedly communicated to the NRM caucus members on Monday.
A source that asked not to be named so as to speak freely on the matter, disclosed this to URN on Monday evening. According to the source, CEC noted that there was need for open competition adding that, it was not the responsibility of the caucus to endorse any party candidates.
CEC also reportedly argued that the caucus resolution was making the party unpopular. The source particularly singled out Moses Kigongo, the NRM vice chairperson as one of the CEC officials who opposed the Kyankwanzi resolution.
According to the source, Kigongo faulted the caucus for circumventing the Party structures by endorsing Museveni. Two other NRM legislators interviewed by our reporter who also spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed the CEC communication on the Kyakwanzi resolution. Several other legislators approached by our reporter to correlate the information declined to comment saying they were under strict instructions not to speak to the media.
David Bahati, the Deputy Government chief whip denies claims that CEC has pronounced itself on the caucus resolution. Bahati says the claim that CEC rejected the caucus resolution is mere speculation adding that, the party will communicate its stand at the right time. He said that as far as he is concerned the resolution was still alive.
Last month, NRM legislators endorsed a resolution tabled by Evelyn Anita, the Northern Ugandan Youth MP to front Museveni as the sole party candidate in the 2016 general elections. More than 200 legislators appended their signatures on the resolution, which they said was aimed at fostering party cohesion.
Several NRM members have openly criticized the caucus resolution saying it was aimed at frustrating the presidential ambitions of Amama Mbabazi, the NRM secretary general. According to the NRM constitution, the decision to endorse party candidates lies with the national conference, which is comprised of delegates from the national and district party structures.