NRM: We're Assured of 11.9 million Votes

FILE PHOTO: Uganda's President and the presidential candidate Yoweri Museveni of the ruling party National Resistance Movement (NRM) waves to his supporters as he arrives at a campaign rally ahead of the February 18 presidential elections in Entebbe, Uganda February 10, 2016. REUTERS/James Akena/File Photo - RC1596BBCB30

The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party is going into next year’s general elections with nearly 11 million voters which assures the party leadership of a landslide victory.

Speaking at the party headquarters at Plot 10 Kyadondo Road in Kampala, Sam Engola, the party’s vice-chairman for northern Uganda said with 11.9 million registered voters, it is a foregone conclusion that they will pick up every elective position in the coming 2021 election.

“We want our chairman and the party candidates to win with the highest marks and the cleanest election like we never had before. Those people who have registered are already our voters before the elections,” Engola said, as the NRM secretariat handed over the party register to the NRM electoral commission.

If NRM’s claim is anything to go by, it means that Museveni’s challengers at next year’s presidential elections are left to fight for 5.8 million voters of the 17.7 million registered voters in the national voters roll.

Engola said that with such a big number of voters, there is no reason why an NRM member would be engaged in acts of cheating elections.

“We don’t want any forgery, we don’t want any mistakes in this election, we want those who are winning to win with a clear intention that nothing is behind them,” Engola said. 

The party’s deputy secretary general, Richard Todwong said the party’s registered membership is over 25 million people of which 11.9 are eligible to vote. In compiling the party register, the NRM registers people from the age of 16.

However, it’s only those who are 18 years and above and have registered with the national Electoral Commission who are allowed to vote in the party primaries.

“Even if we don’t look for new members our members are enough for us to win elections,” Todwong said.

There are however, questions to the authenticity of the NRM register especially on how a country with 40 million people, a big percentage of whom are below the age of 15 can have 25 million voters subscribing to the NRM.  

“Registration is a continuous exercise for a political party, if you intend to be a member, our secretary-general will register you,” Todwong said in defence of those who doubt the authenticity of the register.  

Meanwhile, the party’s vice chairman for central the region, Haji Abdul Nadduli has cautioned Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi who has indicated that he would be challenging president Yoweri Museveni in the coming elections, to tread properly. Nadduli said if Kyagulanyi and his supporters don’t tone down their political rhetoric, his political journey might come to a tumbling end.

“I call upon you my son, you have just started your political journey, don’t allow your supporters to spoil it for you. If they want to show you that they love you then they shouldn’t follow you everywhere. Be in this politics politely so that you can survive. When you become undisciplined you will fall into an ambush,” Nadduli said. 

He defended the scientific campaigns saying there is no difference with the previous elections. He said all a candidate needs to do, is moving village per village explaining to the people individually what he intends to do for them. “In the five years we spent fighting, we never asked Obote to give us an opportunity to speak to the people to give them our program,” Nadduli said.      


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