DP grassroots elections disputed

BUKOMANSIMBI. Opposition Democratic Party (DP) officials in Bukomansimbi District are fighting over who has the mandate to organise grassroots elections in the area.
The disagreement pits the party’s district leadership against the constituency leadership, with each claiming the mandate to organise and conduct the polls.
The confusion was ignited a week ago when Mr Deogratius Kiyingi, the Bukomansimbi Constituency MP, used his office as district party chairperson, to secure forms from the party secretariat.
The MP then used the forms to conduct elections at the village and parish levels.
However, Ms Suzan Namaganda, the District Woman MP and the constituency party leadership, declared the electoral process null and void.
She reasoned that the polls were conducted outside the DP constitution, and insisted on organising fresh ones.
On Sunday, her group went ahead and convened a meeting with DP members in the district to sensitise them on the modalities of the elections.
According to Mr Felix Lubwama, the Bukomansimbi Constituency DP chairperson, Mr Kiyingi and his group hurriedly conducted the elections without making thorough consultations or collaborating with the relevant offices.
He also accused Mr Kiyingi of using his office to handpick lower party leaders, which he says is against the principles of democracy.
“There were a lot of irregularities that cannot go unchallenged. The election was a total sham because the rightful steps were not adhered to,” he noted.
Efforts to get a comment from MP Kiyingi proved futile as he was reportedly out of the country.
But Mr Lawrence Mukasa, his personal assistant and DP district secretary, said they carried out the election following guidelines as per the roadmap issued by the party’s top leadership.
He scoffed at the group threatening to organise parallel elections, saying their actions will not affect results from the concluded polls.

THE background
There have been efforts by elders in DP to achieve cohesion within the party ahead of next year’s general elections, but individual members’ interests seem to have overridden those of the party with some, especially vocal party MPs claiming there is a ploy by the current party leadership to rig them out in the ongoing party primaries and front weak candidates who toe their line.


SOURCE: Daily Monitor