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Regan Okumu, Aol Disagree Over Choice of Party Flag Bearers in Gulu :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Regan Okumu, Aol Disagree Over Choice of Party Flag Bearers in Gulu

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.
20 Oct 2020 17:52
Christopher Acire, Patrick Oboi Amuriat, Reagan Okumu and Betty Aol Ocan, the Leader of Opposition (LoP) during FDC reunion in Acholi - Photo by Dominic Ochola

Audio 4

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 consecutive terms.

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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.