LC1 elections: The stage is set

LC1 elections: The stage is set

PIC: There is an air of expectation surrounding the buildup of Tuesday’s LC1 polls

ELECTIONS

KAMPALA – It is just a few hours to the long-awaited LC1 elections. According to the Electoral Commission statistics, there are 60,800 LC1 villages, 8,386 parishes, 1,671 sub-counties, 296 constituencies, and 122 districts in the country.

The elections will be conducted Tuesday, by lining up.

According to Rogers Mulindwa, the spokesperson of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), the party has done enough preparations for tomorrow’s elections.

The party, according to Mulindwa, has set 85% as the target at which they hope to win the elections across the country.

“We have organised various constituency meetings and, in those meetings, we have discussed the challenges and how to manage the elections,” Mulindwa said.

According to Mulindwa, NRM has fronted a candidate in each of the 60,800 villages where the electoral commission has organised LC1 elections. He noted that by Friday last week, the party had conducted 177 meetings in about 296 constituencies, to strategise for the elections.

Mulindwa said on Saturday, the party had also met district party leaders across the country, to strategise on how to win. In a tweet yesterday, the minister for ICT and national guidance, Frank Tumwebaze said: “Out of 614 villages in Kamwenge district, 175 NRM candidates are unopposed.

FDC has only 13 LC1 candidates in the whole district. Other contenders are NRM— leaning independents. No doubt, political support is cultivated from the base and never imagined.”

President Yoweri Museveni, the chairperson of the NRM party, recently met NRM district leaders at State House Entebbe, where they discussed matters related to the LC1 polls.

 

 

The FDC deputy spokesperson, Paul Mwiru, said although they had not managed to get candidates for all the LC1 elective positions, they would have candidates in most of them.

“We have also had a setback that when some of our candidates heard that the NRM candidates had been given money, they withdrew their candidature saying they did not want to be party to commercialisation of politics,” Mwiru said.

When asked to state exactly how many candidates they had fielded in the LC1 elections, Mwiru said, “I don’t have the figure for our candidates. We are likely to have the details on Monday.”

On financial facilitation, Mwiru said: “We have not given money to our candidates. These are elections for lining up. We are even surprised that NRM is commercialising LC1 elections.”

 

The Democratic Party (DP) president general, Norbert Mao, said they had failed to secure candidates in many parts of the country because the party structures are thin on the ground.

“Many of our candidates will be standing as independents because they have not been able to get the party stamp, which is a bureaucratic requirement by the Electoral Commission. We were unable to reach out to many of these candidates because we are thin on the ground,” Mao stated.

On funding for their candidates, Mao said: “We have not been able to get funds to support them. In a few areas where we have elected leaders like MPs, councillors and mayors, we expect them to help in financing our candidates. We don’t have resources like the NRM who get their funds from the national coffers.”

The Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) indicated that it was set for the elections.

“We are going to do our best despite the challenges. We were more prepared when these elections were first announced last year, but when they were cancelled, we relaxed a bit,” James Akena, the UPC Party president told New Vision.

Akena said before the elections were cancelled last year, the party had registered 5,000 candidates.

Commenting on the LC1 elections, Makerere University political science lecturer Dr. Sabiti Makara said: “I think it is good that we are finally having these elections which are long overdue since 2002.

“Some of the security problems in the country are because that leadership structure had collapsed. But the Electoral Commission has not adequately sensitised Ugandans for the elections.”

On the Opposition parties not doing adequate preparations for the elections, Makara said: “If the opposition parties have not done enough to prepare for the LC1 election, it is their fault because that structure is very important in the general elections.

“And I have not seen the Government stopping them from convening any preparatory meeting. They will have themselves to blame.”

 

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