Dokolo By-Election Takes a Turn: NRM-Leaning Independent Withdraws Ahead of Presidential Campaign Visit”

Dokolo By-Election Takes a Turn: NRM-Leaning Independent Withdraws Ahead of Presidential Campaign Visit"

Dokolo District, Uganda – In a surprising turn of events, Anna Grace Lalam, an independent candidate with close ties to the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), has exited the Dokolo District Woman Member of Parliament race.

Her withdrawal comes as a show of support for the NRM’s official candidate, Janet Rose Adongo Elau, just days before the district’s highly anticipated by-election.

In an exclusive interview with DailyExpress, Lalam disclosed that her decision followed a direct request from President Yoweri Museveni. “The President personally reached out to me, advising me to withdraw from the contest in favor of the NRM’s candidate. I’m looking forward to meeting him soon to discuss our next steps and will share more details in an upcoming press briefing,” she stated.

This development occurs as the campaign period for the Dokolo Woman MP seat concludes. The vacancy emerged after the passing of Cecilia Atim Ogwal in January. The Electoral Commission has scheduled the election for Thursday, March 21, 2024.

Lalam’s exit narrows the field to notable contenders including Rosemary Alwoc Ogwal of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Sarah Aguti of the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), and Harriet Ageno from the National Unity Platform (NUP), alongside independent candidates Esther Akullo Obot and Rebecca Arao.

Despite Lalam’s departure, other independent candidates with NRM affiliations, namely Akullo Obot and Arao, remain in the race. NRM officials, including the party’s director of mobilization Rosemary Seninde and communication director Emmanuel Domo, have made efforts to encourage these candidates to also step aside, with mixed results.

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A party insider, preferring anonymity, hinted at the potential for further withdrawals. “With President Museveni’s visit to Dokolo today, it’s likely we’ll see more candidates taking his advice to heart,” the source speculated.

President Museveni is slated to hold rallies in support of Elau, aiming to consolidate NRM’s presence in the region with events at Atabu Primary School in Bata sub-county and Amatiburu Primary School in Kangai sub-county.

The election has also drawn significant attention from opposition leaders, including Jimmy James Micheal Akena of the Uganda People’s Congress, Patrick Oboi Amoriat of the Forum for Democratic Change, and representatives from the National Unity Platform, all campaigning vigorously for their candidates.

Amid the heightened political activity, Dokolo District’s Territorial Police, led by Jimmy Patrick Okema, have issued a stern warning against any attempts to disrupt the electoral process. Okema assured the public of a robust security presence to safeguard the vote, emphasizing the importance of adhering to electoral laws to ensure a peaceful and legitimate election.

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