Ronald Regan Okumu, Aswa County Member of Parliament and Aol Betty Ocan, the incumbent Gulu District Woman MP are divided over the selection of Alice Rose Amono Abili and Rosemary Apiyo Padi as the party’s flag bearers.
Disagreements have emerged between senior party leaders of the
Forum for Democratic Change-FDC party over the choice of candidate for Gulu
District Woman MP seat ahead of 2021 polls.
The disagreement comes just less than three months after the party
held a reconciliatory meeting for its members in Acholi sub-region to defuse
tensions that had threatened the party’s grass-root support for over a decade.
Ronald Regan Okumu, Aswa County Member of Parliament and Aol Betty Ocan, the
incumbent Gulu District Woman MP are divided over the selection of Alice Rose
Amono Abili and Rosemary Apiyo Padi as the party’s flag bearers for Gulu
District and Gulu City Parliamentary positions respectively.
Reliable sources within the party revealed to URN that Aol, who doubles as the
Leader of Opposition in Parliament is backing Abili whereas Okumu, who also
doubles as FDC Deputy President for Northern Uganda prefers Apiyo.
Okumu argues that both Abili and Apiyo were supposed to undergo primaries, but
FDC leaders from the party headquarters in Najjanankumbi, Kampala through the
influence of Aol handpicked Abili.
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In September, Okumu wrote a letter to the Chairperson FDC Electoral Commission
raising red flag against the candidate selection saying it disregarded the
principle of people’s supremacy and their rights to select representatives.
In his letter which was never responded to, Okumu implored the
party’s Electoral Commission to conduct a primary election between Abili and
Apiyo for the Gulu District Woman MP seat to avoid imminent embarrassment
within the party.
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But Aol disagreed with Okumu saying she will campaign for Abili after
being vetted to be the party’s flag bearer based on her commitment and
allegiance to FDC having served under the party as Woman Councilor for two
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Aol reaffirmed that she will campaign for Abili because that is
the official position of the party and said she will respect Okumu’s position
because he is entitled to his opinion.
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FDC also endorsed Aol as sole for Gulu City Woman MP seat to the disadvantage
of Vento Auma who had shown interest for the same position.
Now, after being disappointed by the party’s internal democracy,
both Apiyo and Auma were nominated to contest on an independent ticket.
Other than Abili and Apiyo, six other candidates have nominated to
contest for the Gulu District Woman Parliamentary seat. They include Atim Betty, Evelyn Gloria Piloya, Lucy Lapoti all independent candidates, Irene Lama of the National Unity Platform-NUP, Sharon Balmoi NRM and Goretti Okello Odoki of the Democratic Party-DP.
Meanwhile, Aol and Auma will face off with five other contestants for the Gulu
City MP race.
They are Jolly Grace Laker
of the Democratic Party-DP, Rosemary Atim and Christine Atimango both
independent candidates, Gertrude Lanyero Alliance for National Transformation-ANT
and Mariae Shaka Lapolo of the NRM party.