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6 unopposed candidates give NRM 6:0 head start in parliament

NRM chairman Yoweri Museveni addressing NRM MPs at Kyankwanzi recently

NRM chairman Yoweri Museveni addressing NRM MPs at Kyankwanzi recently

The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party has already secured seats in the forthcoming 11th parliament after six of its candidates went through unopposed.

By the close of the countrywide nomination exercise on Friday, NRM candidates in Ik county in Kaabong district, Bugahya county in Hoima district, Buyamba county in Rakai district, Nakaseke North in Nakaseke district, Arua district Woman representative and Buyanja East in Kibaale district had been declared unopposed.

This is the second time that Hilary Lokang for Ik and Pius Wakabi for Bugahya are going through unopposed. For Gyaviira Ssemwanga, he defeated the current MP for Buyamba Amos Mandela in the NRM primaries who opted not to contest as an independent candidate. Arua district’s Lilian Paparu Obiale, Buyanja East’s Emely Kugonza, and Nakaseke North’s Enock Nyongore were new faces contesting in the recently created constituencies.

Paul Bukenya, the acting spokesperson of the Electoral Commission said he couldn’t comment about the particulars of the candidates who were nominated because they are still compiling statistics.
“I think by Monday we shall have a clear picture on the particulars of the parties which fielded candidates,” said Bukenya.

Efforts to speak to Emmanuel Dombo, the NRM’s director of information and publicity were unsuccessful. In a short message, Dombo said he couldn’t speak now because he was in a meeting.

On the other hand, Rogers Mulindwa, the spokesperson of the NRM secretariat said he couldn’t comment on the matter now before the Electoral Commission comes out with a comprehensive report about the nomination.
“Has the EC released the official list? I wouldn’t like to rely on social media,” said Mulindwa.

This is not the first time the NRM goes into a general election with parliamentary candidates who go through unopposed. In the 2016 general elections, the ruling party had a 22 per cent head start of the legislature. Of the 402 gazetted parliamentary seats in the forthcoming elections, opposition parties did not compete in 91 constituencies. (See: Opposition gifts NRM 91 MP seats)
 
For instance, no opposition party has fielded a candidate in 51 of the 290 directly-elected parliamentary constituencies and in 40 out of the 112 women seats. In the 91 constituencies without opposition candidates, nine ruling party candidates have already been declared unopposed.
 
© 2016 Observer Media Ltd