The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) has extended the term of office of its party officials, except for top nine positions in order to observe anti-Covid-19 guidelines, party officials have revealed.
The party has also thrown open competition for its presidential flag bearer.
In the internal elections roadmap released by the party’s electoral commission (EC) chairman, Mr Tanga Odoi, on Friday, the only positions that will be subjected to the process of elections are; the national chairperson, the first national vice chairperson, the second national vice chairperson (female) and the six regional vice chairpersons.
The current holders of these top nine positions in NRM are President Museveni who is the national chairperson, deputised by Mr Moses Kigongo as first national vice chairperson and Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, as the second national vice chairperson.
The regional vice chairpersons whose positions are up for election are; Capt Mike Mukula for eastern region, Maj Gen (Rtd) Matayo Kyaligonza for western region, Mr Sam Engola for northern region, Mr Abdul Nadduli for central region, Mr Godfrey Nyakana for Kampala region, and, Mr Simon Peter Aleper for Karamoja region.
Mr Odoi said those intending to compete for these top positions will pick expression of interest forms from the party EC headquarters or through the online platform from July 20 to 22 while their nominations will be on July 27 to 28 and their vetting by the Central Executive Committee (CEC) and National Executive Committee (NEC) will be done between July 30 and August 5.
At the same time for picking of expression of interest forms, nominations and vetting of the top leaders also involves those intending to run for the presidential candidate.
“The resolutions passed before to endorse the President as a sole candidate is a fact. That same resolution will be put to test for those who may go to court saying they were closed out during the party primary elections,” said Mr Odoi.
Both the top leaders of the party and the presidential candidate will be elected in a national delegates conference that will be held virtually as a way of avoiding the usual crowding at Mandela National Stadium in Namboole.
Ms Justine Kasule Lumbumba, the party’s secretary general, said it was resolved by CEC while approving the roadmap on Thursday that the delegates conference will be held virtually as a way of observing the guidelines of the Ministry of Health aimed at fighting Covid-19.
“The election of the presidential flag bearer and the national executive committee will be by district resolutions using the virtual platforms. The delegates’ conference will not be at Namboole as it has always been,” Ms Lumumba said.
This virtual national delegates’ conference where district executive committees will virtually cast their votes for the presidential flag bearer and the top NRM positions at national level will be held on August 7 and 8.
The current regulations for meetings of political parties gave powers for the top organs of the political parties to extend the term of the different structures for six months for the purposes of organising the internal electoral processes to find candidates for the 2021 general elections.
For the NRM, there will therefore not be any elections for the rest of the structures from the village executive committee and leagues to the national level. The leagues that will not be elected from village to the national level are: historical leaders forum, women league, youth league, workers league, Elders League, League for People With Disabilities, Entrepreneurs League, Veterans League, NRM Institutions League, and NRM Diaspora league.
Sources that attended CEC on Thursday told Sunday Monitor on condition of anonymity that the meeting agreed with the new regulation to have these organs term extended until when it is practically possible to have them filled.
July 20: Secretary General hands over register of 11.9m NRM voters to the party’s Electoral Commission
July 20-22: Picking of expression of interest and nomination forms for presidential flag bearer, national chairperson and vice chairpersons
July 27-28: Nominations for presidential flag bearer, national chairperson and vice chairpersons
July 30-August 5: CEC and NEC vets presidential flag bearer, national chairperson and vice chairpersons
August 7-8: National Delegates’ conference in line with Covid-19 guidelines to elect presidential flag bearer, national chairperson and vice chairpersons
July 23-31: Online expression of interest and picking nomination forms for Woman MPs, directly elected MPs, LC 5 chairpersons and city mayors.
August 10-11: Nominations at Party EC headquarters for Woman MP, directly elected MPs, LC 5 Chairpersons and city mayors for Western region.