President Yoweri Museveni has picked his National Resistance Movement (NRM) party’s nomination forms for national chairman and 2021 presidential flag bearer slots.
NRM Electoral Commission (EC) chairperson Dr Fred Tanga Odoi told reporters in Kampala that Museveni had paid the Shs20m for nomination.
The nomination exercise follows last week’s release of the NRM primaries road map; and two days official release of the party’s voters’ register.
Museveni picked the forms through his aides. Reporters had waited for him to pick the forms in person at Plot 13, Kyadondo, but Odoi told them the head of state had already picked the forms.
It is not clear why Museveni didn’t come to pick the forms himself, but the 75-year-old has in recent months minimized his public meetings due to Coronavirus fears.
Museveni has held smaller meetings at State House before which he insists on social distancing, hand sanitizing and mask wearing for all participants.
In power since 1986, this would have been Museveni’s last term. But a 2017 amendment hewed the age limit clause from the constitution to allow him extend his 35-year-long rule.
The president and NRM national chairman recently forgave rebel party MPs who voted against age limit removal.
Museveni has spent 35 years, almost a half of his life, in State House.
Dr Kizza Besigye, his toughest challenger and former physician in the five-year war that propelled him to power, is in talks with main opposition party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) to have a fifth run at the presidency.
Besides Besigye, Museveni (like in 2015/16 when his former powerful prime minister Amama Mbabazi ran), Museveni is facing youthful political newcomers like singer Bobi Wine and Pastor Joseph Kabuleta.
The race will also include Museveni’s former allies and bush war comrades: former army commander Maj Gen (Rtd) Mugisha Muntu of the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) and ex-security minister Lt Gen (Rtd) Henry Tumukunde.
Before the main race in 2021, Museveni is likely to sail through ‘unopposed’ in the NRM nominations as has been the case in previous elections.