Youth Elections put the National Resistance Movement (NRM) primaries to a litmus test.
NRM party primaries that are scheduled to take place on 24th for sub-counties, 28th for District levels, and 9th for Member of Parliament have been put to a litmus test by the recently concluded village elections.
On the 17th August 2020, the electoral commission organized village youth elections as a process of building the electoral colleges for the district and then later parliamentary special interest groups. However, these didn’t go well in most areas, and re-elections were carried out on the following day 18th August 2020.
The irregularities witnessed in the village youth elections are just a handful of those that are to happen in the NRM primaries that are set to take place starting next week 24th basing on the following;
Irregularity one: Method of voting;
Having abolished a secret ballot unanimously by party top leaders and supported by NRM Parliamentary caucus, the party chose to line up behind candidates or their portraits as a method of voting in the party primaries.
This was a bad and illogical move since disputes are to erupt among members for having failed to vote for an individual who may be dear to those with resources in the locality hence some may lose lives and material support from friends in times of need.
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Furthermore, there’s no justification whether the party will provide enough security to the highly contested areas like Kayunga District and Bbaale Sub County in particular where the party district chairperson now contesting vice-chairperson of central region Mr. Kalangwa Kalisa Moses who is to oversee these primaries has to interest in some candidates already before the polls.
Irregularity Two: Lack of an appropriate Party Voter Register;
It is very clear and evident that NRM has no updated party voters register and it runs on the assumption that all voters are NRM members which creates chaos and commotion at the polling centers.
The party last updated and officially registered members in the year 2011 and since that year no other mass registration and renewal has ever been carried out. This was witnessed in the 2016 party primaries where everyone voted more so in villages yet some were already holding FDC cards and acted as agents of other political parties in the general elections.
Irregularity Three: Lack of election party court/committee;
The party largely depends on the party chairman and other big wings within the party and so it’s very hard for the general courts of law to give judgment about party primaries in case there was vote-rigging that’s why many always come back in general elections as independent candidates.
A famous case in point was Hon. Aidah Erios Nantaba the Woman MP of Kayunga District, when she was rigged in the district party chairmanship poll she lacked where to appeal and resorted to withdrawing and contested as an independent for the Woman MP seat till now.
If not well managed and manned, NRM is to register the shabbiest party primary polls this year emanating from the above-listed irregularities.