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DP Still Hopes to Present Mao for Nomination

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But through his Twitter handle @norbertmao, Mao highlighted that the party was serious on the matter. “DP is a serious party led by serious people. The party has submitted more than the required signatures to support my candidature for the president of Uganda. Additional signatures have been arriving and have been submitted,” he tweeted adding that; “DP is in the race.”
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The Democratic Party is confident on presenting its presidential candidate, Nobert Mao, for nomination on Tuesday afternoon.

Until last week on Friday, many had thought that DP, the oldest political party in the country, had chickened out of 2021 elections. In the background, the party secretariat was reportedly busy hunting for signatures.   

However, party officials have since been giving contradicting information on the number of signatures submitted. Some officials claimed to have submitted two million signatures, while others said 14,000. The law requires that a candidate presents at least 100 signatures from at least two-thirds of the current 146 districts of Uganda which translates into 9800 signatures.    

Given the fact that presidential aspirant Mao was not reflected on the schedule of those expected to be nominated has since generated debate with a section of people saying the party has resorted to tricks to find a reason why they couldn’t front a candidate.

But through his Twitter handle @norbertmao, Mao highlighted that the party was serious on the matter. “DP is a serious party led by serious people. The party has submitted more than the required signatures to support my candidature for the president of Uganda. Additional signatures have been arriving and have been submitted,” he tweeted adding that; “DP is in the race.”         

Okoler Opio, the DP spokesperson, says that as a party they have submitted the signatures on time as required by the law and only waiting for time to present their candidate for nomination at 1 p.m on Tuesday.    

“We submitted the signatures, the burden is upon the EC to verify them. We are just waiting for nomination of our candidate,” Opio says, scoffing at ‘haters’ whom he says wished DP had not joined. “I have had people saying we are not on the Electoral Commission's schedule, the last time I talked to the commission they told us that our candidate is to be nominated on Tuesday.”    

Paul Bukenya, the Acting Spokesperson Electoral Commission, says the Commission is still verifying the signatures submitted by DP. Bukenya, however, adds that according to electoral laws, there is nothing that could stop an aspirant from presenting him or herself before the commission for nomination as long as they have met the requirements.

//Cue in; “Verification is still... 

Cue out... commission concerning that.”//   

Section 10 of the Presidential Elections Act requires aspirants to submit to the Commission on or before the day appointed as nomination day, a document which is signed by that person, nominating them as candidates, and the nomination is supported by not less than one hundred voters in each of at least two-thirds of all the districts in Uganda. Candidates this year were required to present signatures from at least 98 districts.

In the previous general election, DP threw supported John Patrick Amama Mbabazi under a coalition dubbed Go Forward which was a fallback position for failed efforts to front a single opposition candidate under The Democratic Alliance-TDA.    

In 2011, DP fronted Norbert Mao who ended up third in the race after polling  147,917 constituting 1.86 per cent of the valid votes cast. This was an improvement from 2006 where their flag bearer John Ssebana Kizito had got 1.58 per cent.  

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