Six people have expressed interest in vying for the Omoro County Parliamentary seat in Omoro district.
The seat fell vacant following the death of former legislator and Speaker of Parliament, Jacob L’Okori Oulanyah on March 20, 2022, in Seattle in the United States of America.
Last week, the Electoral Commission set May 26, 2022, as the date for the Omoro County by-elections. The voters’ register update exercise will run from April 14-19th, 2022.
Francis Mawa, the Prime Minister of Puranga Clan where the late Oulanyah hailed from told Uganda Radio Network that six people from the clan have shown interest in running for the vacant seat.
They include Omoro District LC V Chairperson, Douglas Peter Okello, Omoro District Council Speaker, Richard Bongowat Luganya, Andrew Olal and Francis Rwotlonyo, all members of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party.
Others are Engineer Terrence Odonga from Forum for Democratic Party-FDC and Patrick Okot, a lecturer in the Faculty of Science at Gulu University.
According to Mawa, Oulanyah’s family members had earlier fronted the deceased’s son, Andrew Ojok to contest as a replacement for his father.
He notes that as members of Puranga clan, they have scheduled a meeting with all aspirants on Friday this week to come out with a common position.
“The Friday meeting will come out with a good report because this is an abnormal contest that came after the death of one of our own. We have called family members, relatives, political leaders, and cultural heads of the clan to iron out some issues,” he said.
Omoro district LC V chairperson, Douglas Peter Okello didn’t answer our repeated phone calls on his cellphones.
Rwotlonyo confirmed his interest in the parliamentary seat, saying that Omoro needs a person who can work for them and listen to them.
He called on the NRM party leadership to exercise neutrality and give a fairground to all aspirants to contest without dictating on a single candidate of their interest.
On Friday last week, Francis Emuna, the brother to Oulanyah asked others interested in vying for the parliamentary seat to consider the deceased’s son owing to the legacy of his father.
“We want Ojok to stand come by-election for Omoro, we want your full support, please stand with the family and we take this man through, this is my special request. I know there are people who want to come through but let’s consider the family and all Jacob has done and left us with,” said Emuna.
Ojok works with National Information Technology Authority-Uganda (NITA-U) as a Senior Information Technology Specialist. Caesar Lubangakene, the National Unity Platform-NUP party Northern Regional spokesperson told URN in an interview that they had not yet decided on a candidate for the Omoro County MP seat.
“We are going to sit down and have a strategy meeting very soon, we are going to definitely show force whether we support our candidate or back one of the candidates,” he said. Oulanyah, who was buried on Friday last week at his ancestral home in Lalogi Sub-county, was serving his fourth Term as Omoro County member of parliament. He first joined parliament on the Uganda People’s Congress-UPC party ticket in 2001.
He lost his re-election bid in 2006 before joining the NRM Party and won in the 2011 parliamentary election, 2016, and subsequently the 2021 Parliamentary election.
According to the Electoral Commission road map, the nomination of candidates will take place from May 12th to May 13 at Omoro District Council Hall. The candidate’s campaign will take place from May 16th- 24th, 2022.