Parliamentary candidates for Opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) and Alliance for National Transformation will most likely be affected as the deadline for nominations inches in.
According to the Electoral Commission, Members of parliament will be nominated between 12 and 13th October, which is just two days away.
However, according to Charity Ahimbisibwe, the Executive Director for Citizen Coalition for Electoral Democracy (CCEDU), many candidates have reached out seeking bailout, and these are mostly from newly formed parties; ANT and NUP
“A number of them are going to fall off,” she said.According to Ahimbisibwe, political parties are to blame for the plight in which their flag bearers have found themselves in.
“They (Political Parties) knew this nomination fee was there, it is not a new thing, they should have fundraised earlier, not during election time,” she said.
Joel Ssenyonyi, NUP’s spokesperson says that party is considering bailing out vulnerable candidates especially in Western and Northern Uganda.
“We are compiling a list of those that really need support, they will see what little we can extend to them. Some of them have one million and need the balance, others have Shs2m, so it is a case by case basis.”Ssenyonyi said the party’s is making the decision on the basis that some of their candidates are really strong on ground.
Already Ssenyonyi’s boss, Bobi Wine called out for help from the masses, seeking for money to support NUP candidates with nomination fees.
“As you have all seen these past days, we have hundreds of parliamentary candidates all over the country. Nominations have drawn so close. Unfortunately, we are receiving so many calls from our candidates, especially from Western and Northern Uganda, who risk not being nominated because they don’t have the required 3 Million Shillings,” he said.
He blamed President Museveni and the government for making it so expensive for nominations. He claims it is intended to lock out the opposition.
“The NRM pays for its candidates because they use taxpayers’ money for their activities. We have seen so many candidates who had wanted to run for MP but they simply cannot afford this money,” he said.
He said that the NUP is barely three months old and is mostly supported by volunteers.“Given that our party is barely three months old and mostly supported by volunteers, we are not able to pay nomination fees for all candidates, but we believe there are friends out there who are willing to support this cause. Please reach out and support in any way.”
Meanwhile, the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) will not require bailout as the party intends to sponsor all their 400 candidates with nomination fees.
NRM’s Emmanuel Dombo also said the ruling party is not worried, as all candidates are fully catered for.
“Once someone has gone through primaries and has become the responsibility of the party, it is now our responsibility that that person is nominated, goes through campaigns are elected for what they have aspired for. So because of that, we make a very substantial contribution including nomination fees and other costs that a candidate may go through,” he said.