UPC party quit 2021 presidential race: UPC party quit 2021 presidential race:
Uganda Peoples Congress UPC have declared that they will not field a presidential flag bearer in the 2021 General Election. Mr Akena says he opts to run for the Lira East MP seat instead of contesting for the country’s top seat.
While speaking to journalists yesterday, he notes that top party officials are to make the decision. “This is not a new position. We have discussed at different levels and we continue to discuss it,” he says.
According to Article 13 of the UPC Constitution, it provides that the party president elected by the delegates conference. And this becomes the party flag bearer in a general election. Akena, leads on of the factions, was elected on August 1 at a delegates conference which has since been contested by other UPC members as illegal.
This becomes the second time in a row UPC does not take a shot at the presidency. Mr Akena also declined to run for presidency in the 2016 General Election. And the party rallied behind former Prime Minister in government, Amama Mbabazi, under The Democratic Alliance election taskforce. The last time UPC fielded a presidential candidate was in 2011 elections under the then party president, Mr Olara Otunnu.
Mr Akena says Opposition political parties need to prioritize where they can invest and avoid going into elections unguided. He says the fight to block the amendment and removal of the presidential age limit clause in the national Constitution failed. Because the Opposition could not raise one-third of the members in the House to defeat the motion.
UPC party quit 2021 presidential race
“This is about 150 Members of Parliament. The whole combined Opposition did not make even 70 You need the numbers in Parliament,” he narrates while defending his decision not to contest for the presidency.
He continues UPC will focus on strengthening its grassroots structures and increasing representation at local government and parliamentary levels.
Mr Akena trashes that UPC has diminished its ambitions of taking over the highest office in the country. However, Mr Dennis Enap, who contested for UPC presidency, disagreed with Mr Akena. He points out by not fielding a presidential candidate, the party risks losing many of its members.
“Whom will the party members vote? Members will be torn between Museveni, Bobi Wine because of not having a candidate for presidency. The party risks losing its membership because of affiliations to other presidential candidates,” Mr Enap notes.
He also dismissed Mr Akena’s claim of focusing on building the party from the grass roots. “The party not fielding a presidential candidate has political effects on its strength of mobilization and our performance in areas outside Akena’s constituency will be poor,” he adds.
Currently, UPC has seven members in Parliament. It had 10 in the 9th Parliament and Mr Enap warns that the number will drop further.
Ms Joy Ongom Atim, the Lira District Woman MP, and a member of UPC, says the party is not ready to compete for presidency. However, She admits that having a presidential candidate would help the party increase its mobilisation