Gen Yoweri Museveni has been handed the ruling NRM party flag to compete and retain Uganda’s number one office.
On Tuesday July 28, 2020 Mr Museveni returned his party’s nomination papers confirming he would be seeking to extend his rule to four decades after he picked up nomination papers on Monday.
“I do hereby declare that aspirant Yoweri. K.Museveni has fulfilled all requirements is duly nominated as the NRM presidential flag bearer,” NRM electoral commission chairperson, Dr. Tanga Odoi announced.
The party’s Electoral Commission had earlier also declared President Museveni as a sole candidate for the seat of the party national chairman.
In the contest for President Gen Museveni is likely to faceoff with Hon Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, a popular local musician and many others.
A rising opposition star, a musician-turned politician Bobi Wine is leading the People Power Movement. And recently, he launched a new political party, the National Unity Platform (NUP), ahead of the general election in February next year.
The 38-year-old musician-turned-politician has become a darling of majority youth who accuse Museveni’s government of endemic corruption and unemployment.
Last year, Central Executive Committee, the ruling NRM party’s top organ granted Museveni a life presidency card by unanimously endorsing him as party leader and flag bearer for the upcoming elections in 2021 and beyond.
The Constitutional court, in a majority decision of 4-1 later dismissed an application by 11 NRM MPs challenging Museveni’s sole candidature in next year’s general election.
Should he be re-elected in the February 2021 General Election, the veteran leader, who turns 76 this September, will continue to occupy State House since entering it in 1986.
President Museveni has since 2005 when the country adopted a multiparty system been elected the NRM national chairperson and its flag bearer.
The National Electoral Commission has set November 3 and 4 this year as nomination dates for presidential candidates.
President Museveni took power at the age of 42 in January 1986 after ousting Apollo Milton Obote of the Uganda People’s Congress during his second term (1980 to 1985) and the short-lived military junta of Tito Okello and Bazilio Olara Okello through a guerilla war.
Mr Museveni ruled for the first ten years without holding elections. Ugandans went to the polls in June 1996 for the first time under Museveni following the passing of a new Constitution in October 1995 which had a two five-year term limit for the office of the President.
The term limit was amended ten years later, in 2005, allowing him to seek reelection in February 2006.
Another constitutional limit that would have forced the President to stand down in next year’s election on account of his age was controversially removed in December 2017 when the Constitution was amended to remove the 35 years and 75 years lower and upper age caps amidst fist-fights between opposition MPs and security operatives in Parliament.
Several people including Mr Museveni’s former comrades have indicated interest in contending in the presidential race but his main challenger in the last four elections, Col Dr Kizza Besigye is yet to be nominated by his party, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and has been under pressure to drop the bid to lead the opposition after the failed attempts.
But Maj-Gen Mugisha Muntu, a former army commander and former President of FDC, Lt-Gen Henry Tumukunde, former spy chief and Minister for Security, among others have indicated they will challenge their former commander.
According to the Electoral Commission, about 50 individuals have expressed interest in the presidential race.