Uganda: DP Finally Submits Signatures Endorsing Mao for Nomination

30 October 2020

The Democratic Party (DP) Friday submitted to the Electoral Commission signatures from party supporters endorsing their presidential aspirant, Mr Norbert Mao for next week's nomination exercise.

The deadline for submission of the signatures for those aspiring for the presidential seat is Sunday with nominations slated for November 2 and 3.

DP Spokesperson, Mr Opio Okoler told Daily Monitor that they had submitted signatures from 120 districts.

"We have been able to submit all the signatures except some of those we thought will cause bulk to EC and given the limited time, we never wanted to submit all," he said.

Mr Okoler added that they collected signatures from at least two million Ugandans endorsing Mao for presidential nomination ahead of next year's general election.

When asked why they delayed to submit the signatures, Mr Opio argued they were in time since they had submitted three days to the deadline.

"That's a reasonable number of days for the EC to do whatever they have to do. The law provides that anybody who is willing to contest for presidency can even present the signatures for verification on the day the person is to be nominated so the administrative rule set by EC surely should not stop us from enjoying what is provided for under the law," he said.

He said the perceived delay was tactical and deliberate by the party.

"We have done it because we realised the circumstance under which we live as a political institution on opposition are tricky," he added.

The EC spokesperson, Mr Paul Bukenya said they had started verifying Mao's signatures.

"We are handling them and we have started with verification process. we will give it attention because they are not outside the law. The nomination process is still on and if they comply, we shall give them the necessary clearances," he said.

According to EC, Mao booked Monday (November 3) when he will be nominated.

"This country belongs to God and He will do with it whatever He wills (Psalms 24). We owe the younger generation a Transition devoid of fear. Uganda needs a Bridge to the Future. That bridge must be a mix of Knowledge and Experience lest we end up in a game of Snakes and Ladders," Mao, 53, tweeted on Friday after submitting the signatures.

If EC clears Mao, this will be his second attempt to unseat President Museveni who has ruled Uganda since 1986; the first one being 2011 poll which he lost.

After more than 30 years in power, Museveni, 76, is the only president most youth have known.

Museveni, one of Africa's longest-serving rulers, had the constitution amended for a second time to allow him to run a sixth time in 2021.

Several aspirants including Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine, Henry Tumukunde, Fred Mwesigye, Willy Mayambala, Joseph Kabuleta, John Katumba,among others have already been cleared to be nominated to challenege Museveni in the 2021 race.

Others are Nancy Kalembe all Independents, Patrick Amuriat (FDC), and Mugisha Muntu (ANT).

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