NRM Rejects Electoral Colleges as Museveni Calls CEC Again
President Yoweri Museveni will meet his ruling party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) on Sunday, July 12, to take a final decision on the modr of selection of NRM flag bearers for the 2021 general elections.
Sunday’s meeting will be the 7th in about two weeks over the same matter after all the previous meetings disagreed with proposals to limit the selection of NRM flag bears to electoral colleges to be constituted by members of the party’s leadership structures.
At Parliament, Government Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa met with chairpersons of the different NRM held parliamentary committees who roundly rejected the idea of electoral colleges.
The committee chairpersons and their deputies told Nankabirwa that they are not agreeable to the idea of electoral colleges because they’re discriminative.
In the wake of growing opposition to the proposal, the NRM secretariat has, understandably, drawn up a new strategy, suggesting three options for the party to follow when conducting its internal elections.
“We are looking at how we can hold primaries where all party members can participate but without breaching the health guidelines intended to curb the spread of Covid-19,” a party official told The Witness.
“We have marked out the entire country to know the number of party members per village. Based on that, we are suggesting that if a village, say, has 100 members, and we take these members to a football pitch where they can line-up behind candidates in conformity of the social distancing guidelines, there is no way we can be accused of abusing the Covid-19 health guidelines,” the official added.
The second option that is expected to be sold to CEC is for the creation of two voting areas per village to avoid congregating party members in one place.
“The other option we are looking at is open voting. In this, we can have candidates or their agents standing at a polling centre, a member comes and expresses his or her choice and goes,” the official said.
During its meeting on July 1, CEC deferred discussions on the NRM electoral roadmap after it was informed that cabinet had agreed on a Statutory Instrument by the Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister, Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu, to guide political parties in the conduct of their internal elections.
The NRM roadmap also has to fit into the national electoral calendar that was issued last month by the Electoral Commission.