FDC, UPC to use 'Creative Selection' for 2011 Candidates

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The Uganda People's Congress and the Forum for Democratic Change, the two major opposition parties in the West Nile, are strategizing to take key positions in the 2011 elections now that their challengers from the ruling National Resistance Movement are known.

On Tuesday evening, the West Nile members of Uganda People's Congress (UPC) met in Arua to discuss the possibility of finding consensus candidates for the elections.

Moses Apiliga, the MP for West Moyo, led the UPC delegation to the meeting. He says UPC wants to establish a common position in order to avoid splitting its support vote next year.

Apiliga says UPC has qualified candidates for parliamentary and district posts and so a forum for debate was created for the selection of one appropriate candidate for each position. He says the party will use its systems to democratically elect candidates who will be presented to the regional team for nomination.

Swaleh Buga, a member of the FDC national executive committee, says his party is has adopted a similar policy.

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Not every UPC and FDC member in the West Nile is happy with the selection process.

William Asubo, a candidate for the Arua LC5 chair, says people like him who are less known may not have an opportunity for an equal say come voting day. He wants the parties to field candidates of their own throughout the region.

However Samson Agupio, the UPC chairperson for Arua, says creative selection of candidates will save resources and help the opposition strengthen its electoral base.

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Primary elections for the FDC and UPC are slated to take place in coming weeks.