DP in Acholi says already planning against rigging in 2026

DP in Acholi says already planning against rigging in 2026
Norbert Mao

The Democratic Party in Acholi sub-region is focused on strengthening its structures to observe, guard and protect their votes against rigging in the 2026 elections.

The party leadership which is comprised mainly of members who lost to NRM candidates in the 2021 elections, have made peace and accepted their new cooperation but on condition that vote protection will be observed by both parties.

Democratic Party president-general Norbert Mao is the beloved son of the Acholi. He has also groomed some sharp-talking and ambitious young politicians in the region, including Godwin Okello.

“One of the reasons I still have confidence in the Democratic Party is because (of its decision) to build cooperation with the ruling party," Okello says.

"This is the true sense of multipartyism.”

DP struck a cooperation deal with NRM government two years ago. The agreement saw Mr Mao join President Museveni's Cabinet as Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister.

However, this has not translated to overwhelming victory for DP in Acholi sub-region. In the 2021 general elections, for example, majority of the party flag bearers were defeated by candidates from the NRM for the top political positions.

Their focus is now is on vote protection as a means of coming out victorious in the 2026 general elections.

“In Gulu District, we had three candidates who won in the previous elections but were not declared, this is what we are now focusing on vote protection,” says Justin Obol, who is the National Executive Committee representative of Acholi.

Statistics show that the youth constitute a big percentage in the current population of Uganda and due to this, some of them are being drawn to political grounds and wish to take up positions.

“I think we as youth have the right skill, energies and experience to steer the future of our country,” Francis Otim, the councillor of Kirombe Ward in Layibi, who ran under the DP ticket confides.

The Democratic Party cadres in Acholi have made peace with the fact that there is a working cooperation agreement with the ruling National Resistance Movement.

“I want to appeal to the other political parties, that we have a critical role to consolidate this democracy, it is important for us today and the future,” Okello says in his appeal to other opposition politicians.

Mr Obol believes that election is about power.

"You need to know where the center of power is in order to retain power,” he added. "You need to understand the rule of the game and so win the trust between the voters and party members.”

Speaking to us through an online Zoom meeting, DP deputy national chairman Simon Opoka said the party support is growing in Acholi sub-region and they are optimistic of victory in 2026.

“In Omoro, Tochi in particular, the performance is good. Confidence is building in the party, and we are coming up brick by brick,” Opoka said.

"We expect the president to see where need be in our areas of competence to give us another minister, probably a junior minister.”

Democratic Party currently has Peter Okot and Okello Komlok as the only two legislators under their umbrella.

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