The ruling National Resistance Movement has said the 11 Members of Parliament who dragged the party to court for endorsing Museveni’s sole candidature jumped the queue.
On February 19, the NRM Central Executive Committee (CEC) sitting at Chobe Safari Lodge in Nwoya District endorsed President Museveni, as their sole candidate for 2021 and beyond.
However, a group of dissenting MPs dragged the party to the Constitutional Court saying the decision to endorse Museveni’s sole candidature was inconsistent with the Constitution and asked court to declare it null and void.
In a response filed before the same court, the ruling party said the 11 legislators’ petition before the Constitutional Court was premature and uncalled for.
“The petition is premature as it is the duty of the National Conference of the NRM(supreme organ) to elect the presidential candidate to be sponsored by NRM in national elections from a person or list of persons recommended by the National Executive Council,” reads in part the response by NRM in an affidavit sworn by Oscar Kihika, the party’s legal director.
The ruling party also avers that the matter is a political question and not a matter for judicial consideration or constitutional interpretation as the 11 MPs want it to appear.
In their petition, the legislators said by declaring Museveni as a sole candidate, other party aspirants with interests for the 2021 elections had been suffocated.
However, in response, the ruling party says the doors are not yet closed and that any party member willing to contest for the same is free to do so.
“The respondent (NRM) has not stopped any one with qualifications from expressing interest to contest for the position of presidential candidate for the NRM in the up-coming presidential elections.”
The party in its response also avers that the non- attendance of the 11 MPs who are part of the NRM parliamentary caucus meeting did not invalidate the proceedings and outcome of the meeting that endorsed Museveni as sole candidate.
“Any organ of the party is at liberty to recommend one of its members for selection by the membership as its presidential flag bearer as a matter of strategy.”
The petition 11 legislators who dragged NRM to court over Museveni’s sole candidature include Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga), Monicah Amoding (Kumi District), Barnabas Tinkasimire (Buyaga West), Mbwatekamwa Gaffa (Kasambya), James Acidri (Maracha) and Moses Bildad Adome (Jie).
Others are John Baptist Nambeshe (Manjiya), Patrick Nsamba Oshabe (Kassanda North), Samuel Lyomoki (Workers), Silvia Akello (Otuke) and Susan Amero (Amuria).