EALA candidates protest order of names

Candidates standing for Uganda's positions to the regional Parliament have protested the order to be followed during tomorrow's campaigns, appealing to the Clerk to Parliament to instead arrange their names in alphabetical order.

The Clerk to Parliament, Mrs. Jane Kibirige today met the 47 candidates vying to represent the country at the Arusha based East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) for the period 2017 - 2022.

The list puts incumbent DP candidate, Fred Mukasa Mbidde ahead of others, followed by FDC's Florence Ibi, Ingrid Turinawe and NRM's six candidates: Rose Akol, Paul Musamali, Mary Mugyenyi, Mathias Kasamba, Denis Namara and George Odong. The list then has UPC's incumbent Christopher Opoka, before 37 independent candidates.

The candidates claimed that the list was unfair and put some of them at an advantage, as Members of Parliament, the majority of whom belong to the NRM may walk out after listening to their party candidates and not waiting for the independents.

The Clerk to Parliament, Mrs. Kibirige, however said that the list issued was originated by the Verification Committee set up by the Speaker to examine documents submitted by all aspirants.

"Your success will depend on how you convince the Members of Parliament during the campaigns, not the order of names," said Kibirige.

The Clerk also assured candidates that staff of Parliament, who will act as voting officials will be independent and impartial and will not malice anyone, hence there was no need to bring in candidates' agents.

"We shall have four polling stations; having an agent for each candidate, will create a crowd at the voting area," she said adding that "Your votes will be secure and will be in an open place. We have the Police, so do not cause chaos."

Campaigns and voting for Uganda's representatives is scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday 28th February 2017. Voting will be by secret ballot by Members of Parliament.

The Clerk's programme shows that each of the candidates will be allotted seven minutes to campaign during the sitting that will commence at 10.00am. The Clerk prohibited campaigns at the voting area, which will be at the South Wing Car parking area.

"The candidates are free to remain within the precincts of Parliament and wait for the announcement of results," the Clerk said.

Although candidates complained that guidelines had been issued late, the Director Department of Legal and Legislative Affairs, Mr. Pius Biribonohwa, said that candidates should have followed what is provided for in the Parliament Rules of Procedure.

Source: Parliament of Uganda