Why NRM EALA Elections Flopped

NRM Elections representatives at the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) on Tuesday night flopped after irregularities were cited in the election guidelines.

The scuffle began when the party Chairman Electoral Commission, pharmacy Dr. Tanga Odoi issued election guidelines in which members were to elect 7 candidates to be forwarded to Parliament for a general vote upon which the best 6 would be elected.

In this, Tanga provided for the different regions including; Central, Kampala, Eastern, Northern, Western as well as a representative for women and Special Interest groups.

In Tanga’s wisdom, electing 7 candidates choosing one from each section would be better and save the party from any contentions.

However this was quickly contested by the party Secretary General, Justine Kasule Lumumba who noted that this would be contrary to the NRM rules and guidelines that were followed 5 years ago while nominating members for the same.

Members casting their ballots earlier in the evening
Members casting their ballots earlier in the evening

Lumumba stressed that there was no need to move away from the rules that were applied then, saying that legislators should elect six candidates with four being male and two female.

The SG further suggested that the party’s electoral commission removes the Kampala slot from the election to avoid the confusion of sending 7 representatives from NRM as opposed to 6 which also received criticism from members.

After debate, a decision was taken by members to amend the guidelines and choose only 6 candidates considering that each electorate elects two women of choice and bearing the region factor. However, trouble emerged as the ballot paper was left with 7 sections.

The fighting resumed during the tallying of results were some members elected 7 candidates of their choice which according to the new guidelines was rendered invalid. When more invalid votes increased, members rose up in protest arguing that such votes should be counted as valid but Tanga resisted.

This called for the intervention of the NRM Vice Chairperson, Moses Kigongo to calm the situation who ruled that members should go ahead and count any vote as valid and at the end those with minimal votes would be left out.

At this point the media was asked to leave the room as they chose to redo the tallying process. This didn’t go further as members further contested that some regions with minimal votes might be left out without receiving any representation.

To calm the situation, a decision was taken to suspend the elections to be conducted on Wednesday at 2pm. This was followed by summons of the Dr. Tanga Odoi, the Chief whip and top party leaders by the president for a meeting.

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