Electoral Commission (EC) chairperson Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama has insisted that MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine’s National Unity Platform (NUP) party must forget about using red as its official color.
In July, Bobi Wine, the Kyadondo East MP, surprised many when he unveiled NUP, the party he had acquired from Moses Nkonge Kibalama.
Kibalama’s National Unity, Reconciliation and Development Party (NURDP) changed its name to NUP, and its leaders ceded their powers to Bobi Wine.
Bobi Wine, the leader of the People Power pressure group, is also the NUP presidential flag bearer for the 2021 election.
But a row over the use of red as its official color recently dominated public debate.
Byabakama has now reiterated that red is the official color of the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC).
One of the country’s oldest political parties, UPC had complained to the EC that NUP was using its color.
On August 04, Byabakama told reporters in Kampala that the commission had neither approved nor gazetted the change of NUP’s color.
He cited section 11 of the Political Parties and Organizations Act which explains what must be done to change the party’s official color, among others.
According to this section, any political party which wishes to change its name, symbol, color or constitution shall notify the Electoral Commission of that intention, and the commission shall, after getting that notification shall cause change and publish it in the gazette.
Byabakama said while the EC had accepted change of NURDP’s name to NUP and gazetted the same, it had rejected the request for change of the party’s color.
“We wrote to NUP and pointed out that the color red you wanted was already taken by the Uganda People’s Congress, which has been on for many years. We have not had any feedback from them on the advice we gave them,” narrated Byabakama.
“The law says that even if you are changing the color or symbol, the commission must gazette it. We gazetted change of name; we have not gazetted change of color.”
On August 03, NUP spokesperson told the EC and UPC to court if they felt dissatisfied, insisting the use of red color, one of its three colors, was lawful.