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NRM Party Aspirants, Leaders Divided Over Omoro County Flag Bearer :: Uganda Radionetwork
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NRM Party Aspirants, Leaders Divided Over Omoro County Flag Bearer

Oulanyah’s family member had demanded that his 32-year-old son Andrew Ojok Oulanyah be fronted unopposed to finish his father’s term in Parliament.
From (L-R) NRM party members George Aligec Lapir, Andrew Ojok Oulanyah, and Andrew Olal attend a clan meeting on Thursday in Omoro District last week.

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National Resistance Movement Party (NRM) aspirants and leaders are divided on the choice of a sole candidate to carry the party’s flag in the Omoro county by-election.

At least five party members expressed interest to contest in the Omoro County Parliamentary seat that fell vacant following the death of former legislator and speaker of Parliament Jacob L’Okori Oulanyah last month.

The aspirants are Omoro District Chairperson Douglas Peter Okello, Andrew Olal, Francis Rwotlonyo, Richard Bongowat Luganya, and Ben Acellam.

Oulanyah’s family member had demanded that his 32-year-old son Andrew Ojok Oulanyah be fronted unopposed to finish his father’s term in Parliament. The move has however been greeted with resistance among the aspirants and members of the NRM party in the region.

Omoro District NRM Chairperson Denis Kidega earlier told Uganda Radio Network - URN in an interview that the party had given aspirants time to negotiate between  themselves on a sole candidate in a show of unity.

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URN however understands that efforts of the party leaders in the district and the Puranga clan leaders to have the aspirants compromise to have one candidate has  failed to yield fruits.

Andrew Olal, one of the aspirants told URN in an interview shortly after a clan meeting last week that he would prefer the NRM party to exhibit the democratic processes of electing a flag bearer as enshrined in its constitution.

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Following failure to resolve the matter at the regional level, the district NRM leaders and the aspirants were yesterday evening summoned by the NRM secretariat for a meeting at the Party’s headquarters in Kyadondo. 

The aspirants reportedly met with the Party Secretary-General Richard Todwong, Electoral Commission Chairperson Tanga Odoi, and the Party’s Director for Mobilization, Training, and Cadre Development Rose Mary Seninde among others.

Sources who attended the meeting disclosed that the meeting began on a good note with the party secretariat issuing election strategies for the by-election, but took a twist when suggestions were made on who should be fronted unopposed. 

It’s reported that the aspirants turned down the request on account that the party stood on democratic principles and should therefore exhibit it by holding a primary election. 

Other aspirants also told the party leaders that the candidate (Oulanyah’s son) they were banking hopes on was still politically immature to face off with the opposition in the Parliamentary race. Those in attendance at the Kyadondo meeting were Okello, Acellam, Rwotlonyo, Luganya, and Oulanyah.

Rwotlonyo told URN in an interview that some of the members later stormed out of the heated meeting in protest of what they perceived as a move to dictate on a sole candidate. 

He says none of the aspirants agreed to the suggestion of Todwong and Tanga Odoi forcing the meeting to be suspended without any clear resolution.

Sources privy to yesterday’s meeting however say the party leadership made a suggestion to have a sole candidate without going into a by-election to save them time since the Party register isn’t yet fully ready.

Gulu NRM Chairperson James Ocen says its undemocratic for the party to handpick a candidate in Omoro County and called for the party leadership to organize for a primary election.

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The Aspirants will later meet with President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in which a final decision will either be made on a sole NRM party flag bearer or call for a Primary election to choose a candidate for the party.

The electoral commission has set May 26th, 2022 as the date for Omoro County Parliamentary by-election.

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