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
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…
Cue out:…the ballot paper.”//
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party, there is a procedure you have to fulfill and satisfy it to be withdrawn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Two other NUP candidates have since withdrawn from the race between October and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.