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NUP Rejects Withdrawal of Flag Bearers from Parliamentary Races

Joel Ssenyonyi, the NUP spokesperson, says that the party has written to the Electoral Commission blocking the withdrawal of the candidates.
Benson Ochan, one of the latest NUP Candidates to withdraw Agago West Consty Parliamentary race in Agago District.

Audio 1

The National Unity Platform-NUP party has rejected the withdrawal of candidates vying for different parliamentary seats.

Joel Ssenyonyi, the NUP spokesperson, says that the party has written to the Electoral Commission blocking the withdrawal of the candidates.

This comes as three NUP candidates withdrew from parliamentary races. 

Benson Ochan, NUP flag bearer for Agago West County in Agago district is the latest to bow out of the parliamentary race. He pulled out on Tuesday in favour of an NRM candidate, Ricky Richard Anywar on grounds that he has got a new job.

Ssenyonyi says whereas the candidates won’t be campaigning anymore as per their decisions, their names will still appear on the ballot paper for elections next year in the interest of the party. He says they have also got reliable information that some of the candidates have been bribed through money offers and jobs to pull out of the race in favour of NRM candidates.

//cue in: “we wrote to…

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Ssenyonyi says that the party has already incurred financial resources on some of the candidates through supporting their nomination costs adding that it's already late to have them scrapped off the ballot papers.

Paul Bukenya, acting Electoral Commission Spokesperson says although he hasn’t yet received the official letter from NUP, the party is acting within the provision of the law.

“There is already a law that guides how a candidate can withdraw from being sponsored by a political party, if you are sponsored by a political party, there is a procedure you have to fulfill and satisfy it to be withdrawn from the race,” says Bukenya.

Bukenya says Electoral Commission can only grant candidates who want to withdraw on condition that they adhere to the provision of the law which includes getting an endorsement from their political party.

 Section 19 of the Parliamentary Election Act 2005 states that a candidate sponsored by a political party/organization can withdraw from the contest after endorsement from the Secretary-General of the political party/organization or any other person authorized by the political party/organization.

Two other NUP candidates have since withdrawn from the race between October and early this month. They are Zaituni Yahaya Babikola, a NUP candidate for the Sembabule Woman parliamentary seat withdrew from the race citing financial constraints in October.

The other is Harriet Musumba, NUP flag bearer for Bundibugyo District Woman Member of Parliament seat who pulled out of the race last week.