By Michael Kanaabi Dollar
As the political temperatures heat up toward the climax of the 2021 election, National Unity Platform the political party that was taken on by the pressure group People Power seems to be dictating the new course of things.
The ruling NRM party known for its gigantic size in membership numbers totalling to about 11 million registered members has always had no match when it came to number of contestants contesting political positions given its bottomless resource envelope and national machinery it uses to ensure it has contestants for all electable positions big and small across the country.
However the 2021 general election whose road map has already been released by the electoral commission are going to be the first of a kind.
Not just because of the Covid 19 pandemic that broke out early this year whose effects we are still reeling from but also because of the Kyagulanyi effect which is currently the hottest brand in Ugandan politics.
The emergence onto the scene of Kyadondo East Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine an already self declared/NUP endorsed Presidential candidate in the next election has left jitters every where in the opposing corners of Uganda’s political fabric.
With his newly taken on party the National Unity Platform and the pressure group he emerged from People Power showing they are going for the ultimate prize, every opponent is uneasy in their seat thanks to the youthful momentum and determination this lot exhibits.
Enter the Numbers
Speaking of numbers interim compilations from the NUP headquarters show over 6000 aspirants have picked forms to contest for Member of Parliament positions on the party’s ticket.
On the other side, the current giant of Uganda’s political play field the National Resistance Movement which is known for having candidates across the country for every elective position had slightly over 2000 aspirants pick up forms to contest for Member of Parliament positions across the country.
In previous elections where the Forum for Democratic Change was NRM’s main challenger, besides a few key constituencies across the country especially the municipalities many of which have been transformed into cities now, there was hardly any real competition for political positions in the country’s far flung corners offered by the FDC thanks to its limited resources and popularity.
Having held slightly less than 40 seats in parliament during its prime which was the 10th parliament FDC could not offer any real challenge to the ruling party in the August House.
However the National Unity Platform alias People Power is very likely to push this number much higher with some analysts predicting at least up to 100 seats in the next parliament will fall to NUP, something that will surely tilt the control of the house, and with so many independents likely to emerge as well, it is going to be an uphill task for ruling NRM to be in absolute control of things like has been the case.
NRM still strong
While NRM will almost certainly retain its majority in the August House, building sustainable quorum won’t be a walk in the park as a lot of deal making will be required across the political divide.
The game of numbers is surely going to be an interesting one to watch come the 2021 general elections as evidenced by these changing dynamics.
The author Michael Kanaabi Dollar is a senior analyst with Data, Polling and Consulting Firm Brothers Intelligence LLC