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Stand as independents, Museveni tells NRM losers

President Museveni

President Yoweri Museveni has told MPs from the National Resistance Movement (NRM) who lost in the party primaries last month to stand as independents.

Museveni, who met with about 60 of the incumbent NRM MPs, says if they feel they have the support of the voters to win in the 2016 elections, they are free to be nominated and stand in the 2016 general elections.

Museveni met with the group on Monday evening at State House Entebbe. The losers expressed their discontent over the manner in which the NRM primaries were conducted.

According to one of the MPs who declined to be named, the legislators were bitter with the NRM electoral commission boss, Dr Tanga Odoi for presiding over what they termed as a sham election.

“Most of the members accused the Tanga-led commission of dishonesty in the process. Most of us should have won the elections but it was plagued with irregularities,” the MP revealed.

This group last week met with Hope Mwesigye, sister-in-law to Independent presidential candidate, Amama Mbabazi, who persuaded them to join the former premier's camp. Mwesigye is quoted to have lured them with a promise of financial support during campaigns.

Another female MP who attended the meeting, reportedly chaired by Government Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa, says the losers tasked the President to support and not de-campaign them during the campaign season.

“While we agreed not to cross over to the Mbabazi camp, we stated clearly that there should not be attempts to sabotage our bids as independents,” she stated.

Museveni's position however contradicts with the NRM constitution, which states that anyone who stands against the official flag bearer of the party will be expelled from the party.

It is not clear if Mbabazi's camp managed to lure any NRM losers as efforts to contact Mwesigye were futile. Nomination for parliamentary contenders by the Electoral Commission is slated to be held on December 2 and 3.

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