It should be recalled that over 60 people expressed interest in challenging President Museveni for the top job in Uganda by picking nomination forms. However, with only four days left to the deadline of submitting signatures to the Electoral Commission for verification, there is doubt whether all those who picked nomination forms will return them.
As the clock ticks to the October 16 deadline, only three
presidential aspirants have so far submitted signatures supporting their
candidature to the Electoral Commission for verification.
Speaking to Uganda
Radio Network - URN, Paul Bukenya, the acting spokesperson of the Electoral
Commission said, the National Resistance Movement whose candidate is the
incumbent President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Henry Tumukunde, an independent and
the Ecological Party of Uganda’s Charles Bbaale, are the only ones who have
According to the Presidential Elections Act, a person
qualifies to contest as a candidate if he/she is 18 years and above, his/her
nomination is supported by 100 registered voters from two thirds of all
districts of Uganda (98 districts) and has paid UGX20million, among others. “They
are supposed to submit those signatures at least two weeks before nomination,
to enable the Commission to verify them,” said Bukenya.
During the verification,
the Commission confirms whether, the names, personal identification number, physical
address and signature of the voter supporting the nomination tally.
On October 2,
the NRM submitted over five million signatures to the Electoral Commission
supporting Museveni’s candidacy.
In a statement, the party boasted of being a
mass organization with capacity to receive signatures that are over and above
what the Electoral Commission actually requires.
Last week, Tumukunde, a former minister who broke
ranks with President Museveni early last year also submitted his signatures.
URN, Joel Sseyonyi, the spokesperson of the National Unity Platform said they
are in advanced stages of collecting their own signatures supporting the candidacy
of Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.
“A number of signatures have already come through but
others are coming in today and tomorrow because some of our people were insisting
on getting more than those required, that’s why they have delayed. But
certainly we shall beat the deadline without a doubt,” said Ssenyonyi.
Alliance for National Transformation whose candidate is Maj. Gen. Mugisha
Muntu, they are also in advanced stages of getting signatures. Speaking to URN,
Sulaiman Kakaire, the deputy spokesperson said that their coordinators are in
the field gathering data.
“Our people are already gathering them; we hope by
Friday we shall have submitted them to the Electoral Commission,” said Kakaire
FDC’s Amuiriat Oboi who was also elected unopposed last week as the party’s
flag bearer told the press today at the party’s headquarters in Najjanankumbi
that they will be submitting their own signatures on Wednesday October 14.
On the other hand, the Democratic Party that recently
elected Norbert Mao as their presidential flag bearer said although they are
also collecting the signatures, they are not time bound by the directives of
the Electoral Commission to submit them two weeks before nomination day.
“It’s our right to participate in this election and we
shall submit the signatures any time we get them even on nomination day because
there is nothing under the law that stops us from doing so,” said Enoch Okoler, the spokesperson.
The Electoral Commission will be nominating Presidential Candidates on
It should be recalled that over 60 people expressed
interest in challenging President Museveni for the top job in Uganda by picking
nomination forms. However, with only four days left to the deadline of
submitting signatures to the Electoral Commission for verification, there is
doubt whether all those who picked nomination forms will return them.