The Democratic Party (DP) has started its internal process to identify candidates vying to represent the party in the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA). This is in preparation for next year’s EALA elections.
Addressing journalists on Tuesday at the party headquarters in Kampala, the DP Secretary-General Gerald Siranda said the process was opened last Tuesday. He explained that all party members are free to pick application forms from the party secretariat as long as they fulfill the conditions among which is not being a sitting Member of Parliament.
Siranda said that the party’s National Executive Committee- NEC which comprises 52 members will convene on December 6 and 8 to vet the candidates. According to Siranda, members who will not be vetted will not be allowed to contest as independent candidates.
He added that they will be required to sign a commitment letter indicating they will not contest as independent candidates. Siranda said the Democratic Party has started the internal process earlier to give the endorsed candidates adequate time to canvass for votes from the 529 Members of Parliament.
Each of the East African Community member countries has to send nine legislators to the Arusha-based Assembly.
In March 2017, Uganda’s Tenth parliament elected nine EALA representatives including Christopher Okumu Opoka, Susan Nakawuki, Fred Mukasa Mbidde, Dennis Namara, Mary Mugyenyi, Steven Odong, Paul Musamali, Mathias Kasamba and Rose Akol.
However, on July 26 2021, a by-election was conducted after the death of Kasamba. He was replaced by the former Kabula County MP, James Kakooza.
For the last 10 years, DP has been represented by Mukasa Mbidde whose second term expires next year and therefore cannot contest for a third term.