Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng will likely face stiff competition from incumbent Joy Atim Ongom among other candidates in the 2021 Lira Woman MP election.
Aceng announced she would seek the National Resistance Movement (NRM) ticket to contest for the seat.
The minister claimed the people of Lango had asked her to represent them in parliament.
But the district is an opposition stronghold.
Lira has four parliamentary positions: Erute North, Erute South, Lira Municipality and the woman representative post.
Three of the four MPs from the district are from the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC).
They are: Jonathan Odur (Erute County South), James Michael Jimmy Akena (Lira Municipality), and Joy Atim Ongom (district woman MP).
Charles Angiro Abacanon Gutomoi of largest opposition political party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) is the Erute County North legislator.
The district is predominantly UPC. Akena, who represents Lira Municipality, is the UPC president. His father Dr Apollo Milton Obote was a two-time president.
If the previous election for Lira Woman MP is anything to go by, then Aceng’s quest to wrestle the seat from Ongom will likely be an uphill task.
Ongom of the UPC beat five candidates – three independents, one NRM and one FDC – by a large margin.
She garnered 59,270 votes – a breathing space of 15,763 votes – away from NRM’s Agnes Linda Auma, her main challenger.
Auma polled 43,507, Independent Margaret Ateng Otim managed 7,520, FDC’s Eunice Anna Okullo got 4,865.
Independents Mary Alip and Molly Akite trailed with 939 and 657 votes, respectively.
Atim reportedly still enjoys considerable support. Before joining parliament in 2011, she was a councillor at Lira District Local Government.
She first won as an independent candidate.
In 2017, she voted against the lifting of the presidential age limit, one of the factors that could count much in opposition strongholds.
Aceng is joining the race after months of being in the spotlight as the country dealt with the Covid19 pandemic.
Nationally, she is a respected technocrat.
Aceng has now made a move to elective politics, and she is confident she will win Lira for NRM.
But her opponents are also not seated. The Lira Woman MP race may be one of the toughest parliamentary elections in 2021.