Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) are gearing up for a standoff with security forces early next as the Electoral Commission nominates candidates running for president in next year’s elections.
The opposition party has said repeatedly that it will not follow the guidelines put in place by security and the EC for the nomination exercise.
The FDC candidate Patrick Oboi Amuriat is supposed to be nominated on Tuesday November 3rd, at Midday.
But while EC has banned candidates from moving in processions to the nomination venue in Kyambogo, FDC says they plan to go with thousands of supporters.
The Party spokesperson Semujju Nganda reaffirmed today Saturday that they will be taking up to 2000 people to escort their candidate.
“We haven’t invited a lot of people. Only about 2000,” Nganda said on the Capital Gang this morning.”
He added that the supporters will first converge at the party offices in Najjanankumbi for prayers and then procession to Kyambogo.
The Electoral Commission this week said each candidate will be allowed a maximum of 9 escorts at the nomination grounds, who must travel in three vehicles.
But Nganda claims the nomination venue is “big enough” to accommodate all the FDC supporters.
“I just came back from Kyambogo and I saw the tent they set up, it looks like it can handle all 2000 people,” he said.
Nganda also says neither their candidate Mr Amuriat, nor his escorts will undergo the mandatory Covid19 testing as per the recently issued EC guidelines for presidential nominations.
He says the EC guidelines are not enshrined in Presidential Elections law and that they can only be followed voluntarily.
“These Electoral Commission guidelines are not in the law; following them depends on the goodness of the person you are asking to follow them,” he said.
Government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo suspects however, that FDC is devising ways to miss out on the nomination by triggering a confrontation with Police on nomination day, and blaming it on government.
It should be noted that early this week, Police warned that it will not hesitate to arrest any presidential candidate who flouts the guidelines put in place by the elections body.
“We are getting information that some presidential aspirants are mobilising thousands of their supporters to escort them for nominations next week,” said Kampala Metropolitan police spokesman Patrick Onyango.
“Any presidential aspirant, who makes a procession, contrary to EC guidelines of having only 10 people, will be arrested and detained.