Updated by Faith Barbara Namagembe at 1443 EAT on Thursday 21 April 2022.
President Museveni has handpicked former speaker of parliament Jacob L’Okori Oulanyah’s son, Andrew Ojok as the flag bearer for the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party in the Omoro County by-election.
This followed a meeting the president held with NRM aspirants on Tuesday evening at his country home in Rwakitura. The meeting came at the backdrop of a failed attempt to resolve a stand-off between aspirants and NRM party leaders on the choice of a sole flag bearer for Omoro County.
Ojok is among five aspirants who expressed interest in the parliamentary race to replace his fallen father. The other aspirants are Ben Acellam, Omoro district chairperson Douglas Peter Okello, Francis Rwotlonyo, Richard Bongowat Luganya, and Andrew Olal.
Sources who attended yesterday’s meeting intimated to URN that the president first met each of the aspirants before meeting them jointly for about an hour. The source revealed that the president told the aspirants that Oulanyah had not finished his term in parliament and in the interest of mourning as his family requested, his son be allowed to go unopposed.
He added that Museveni noted that irrespective of Oulanyah’s son’s political experience, he should be allowed to go on with the race but can later be challenged in the 2026 general election.
“We were not forced, his reason was that Oulanyah had not finished his term and requested that if we accept his request, we allow Ojok to go unopposed but also if we see a problem with it, he will call for the primary election,” the said source.
He notes that being cadres, and given that the request came from the president, all the aspirants unanimously stepped down from the race and promised to support Ojok’s candidature.
“You know if the principal has spoken, we can’t defy him as carders,” he said.
The Electoral Commission has set May 26 as the date for the by-election in Omoro County. According to the Electoral Commission road map, the nomination of candidates will take place from May 12 to May 13 at Omoro District Council Hall. The campaigns will take place from May 16-24.
Omoro County parliamentary seat fell vacant following the death of former legislator Oulanyah on March 20 in USA.