Uganda: Presidential nominations today

Uganda’s Electoral Commission has cleared six presidential candidates for nomination which starts today at the Mandela National Stadium in Namboole and end tomorrow for presidential aspirants.

According to the EC spokesperson, Willy Ochola, the six had fulfilled the required conditions after submitting 100 signatures of supporters from at least 75 of the 112 districts. The signatures were approved after verification.

President Yoweri Museveni of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) leader Col. Kizza Besigye, Uganda Federal Alliance presidential candidate, Olive Beti Kamya, Nobert Mao of the Democratic Party, Dr. Abed Bwanika of the People’s Development Party and Jaberi Bidandi Ssali of the People’s Progressive Party are contesting the presidency.

Besigye, the joint flag-bearer of the Inter-Party Cooperation, will be nominated at midday today. IPC brings together the FDC, Conservative Party, Justice Forum (Jeema), the Social Democrats Party and a pressure group, Suubi 2011, headed by former Buganda premier Joseph Mulwanyamuli Ssemwogerere.

Bwanika and Kamya have booked Tuesday 11:00am and midday respectively.

Museveni, Besigye, Mao. Bidandi, Kamya and Bwanika are part of the 11 presidential aspirants who had returned the nomination forms by yesterday. A total of 56 candidates picked the forms.

The others are Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) led by Olara Otunnu and the Green Partisan Party led by Jamil Ssali.

Ochola named the independent candidates who returned the nomination forms as Gideon Tugume, Drake Sebunya and Samuel Lubega.

By last evening, the EC was still verifying Otunnu’s nomination forms and he had only secured 50 districts out of the required 75.

Ochola said the Green Partisan Party had signatures from about 20 districts approved, Gideon Tugume had 16 districts, Drake Sebunya had 15, while Samuel Lubega had only 11 districts.

He said verification of signatures would end today. Whoever fails to get the required signatures by then will not be nominated.

Ochola added that the commission had already secured 10 vehicles for presidential candidates, as well as escort cars.

The district leaders will be elected on February 23. Leaders of municipality local governments will be elected on March 2. LC2 leaders will be elected on March 7.

About 14 million people have registered to take part in the 2011 general elections that will kick off on February 18, 2011 with the presidential and parliamentary elections.