Ingrid explains how FDC fields, nominates candidates

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'Iron Lady' Ingrid Turinawe

FDC is a political party that engage in political activities to build itself and promote its ideals in order to achieve its main goal of taking over power.

We field candidates for competitive positions not only as our right but as our responsibility to the many millions of Ugandans who subscribe to FDC.

Finding good candidates that represent our values is a critical component to our continuing success.

We are an institution which has goals and objectives, we have Norms and values, we have policies and procedures that are adhered to.

Last year, 2017, we embarked on, and successfully concluded a program that planned  and prepared candidates  for all the vacant positions that are coming up for elections this year, July 2018.  Most positions were highly competed for and we held internal primary elections.

Victoria University

Currently we are lining up a number of suitable candidates that will compete for the 3,107 (Three thousand one hundred and seven) new administrative units in the country. We have fully planned and prepared ourselves both financially and physically.

These positions include Municipality Mps (6), Municipality Mayors(7), Municipal Division chairs (7)  District Direct elected councillors ( 201) District Women Councillors (146), Subcounty/Town Council Direct elected Councillors (735) Subcounty/TownCouncil women Councillors (746) Sub County/ Town Council Chairpersons (208) Subcounty/Town Council male  Older councillors( 217) Subcounty/Town council female older councillors ( 212),  District PWD Councillors (214), District Male Youth  councillors ( 214) and District female youth Councillors(214).

We are also presenting a candidate for the Rukungiri woman MP by election, a seat that fell Vacant a month ago.

To be specific, with parliamentary vacancies, FDC, We are rest assured of increasing our presence (in parliament) with not less than 6 MPs by July, starting with woman MP Rukungiri District. We want to affirm to Ugandans that for the first time, FDC is bringing a Member of Parliament from Karamoja (Kotido Municipality).

CANDIDATES IDENTIFICATION

Identification of candidates is not an event but it’s a process. It is done by and entirely starts with our local branches. They are on the ground, they determine the suitable candidates for all elective positions.

The party headquarter receives reports about the availability and strengths of candidates. The local branches also provide information about the need for party primaries in case more than One candidates apply or are identified for a single position.

Our local branches advise us on which candidates to endorse and nominate including areas where we need to cooperate with other parties.  They also guide us on campaign messages and issues that we use to promote our candidates in the various areas.

FDC cannot nominate a candidate that has not been presented and forwarded by the local branch. Local branches are major stakeholders in electoral processes.  Our local branches are in touch with the voters, they hold political engagements with the masses on a full time basis. The National leadership is guided on the best and most popular supported candidate.  In other words, FIELDING our candidates is a bottom up approach and not vice versa.

CANDIDATES SELECTION PROCEDURE:

On receiving information of more than One candidates competing for one position,  the National party  EC releases a program and road map for party primaries. Guidelines for the elections are issued. The National EC guides our districts (branch EC’s) who directly handle primary elections under the supervision of National EC.

The party calls for applications and willing candidates pick nomination forms, apply for the flag.

We engage candidates into consensus building procedures first, after which we organise party primaries to select the best candidate (in case consensus fails).

After the best candidate is selected, the District endorses candidate’s papers and forwards them to the Headquarters for official endorsement and   sponsorship. The party Secretary General then signs and seals the papers as a symbol and guarantee of authenticity.

What follows is,   presenting the candidate for Nomination.

FACTORS THAT WE CONSIDER TO ENDORSE AND FIELD CANDIDATES

Serious factors and considerations are always made, before we endorse and field candidates. This is not to say that every candidate we field has won elections, but it’s important to note that we have made great advances and progress everywhere we have campaigned.

So, what do we consider?

1-  What are the candidate’s chances of winning? Does he or she have a demonstrated possibility of being elected? Is he or she popular in the  constituency?

2- What is a candidate’s ability to run an ideological or educational campaign that builds our strengths and presence?

3- What is the candidate’s ability to Challenge the the Dictatorship and articulate issues both in the constituency and in the office he or she seeks to occupy?

4- What capacity does a candidate have to raise issues that get into political debate?

5- What issues do exist in the area that our   presence can impact on?

6- What is the political Climate in  the constituency?

7- What is  the voter’s  perception  about a  candidate?

OFFICIAL ENDORSEMENT

The final and official endorsement of a candidate marks the real fielding/ nomination. As earlier indicated, the process is down to top. Our local branches are the ones that fully understand dynamics of every election in their localities.

They forward candidates to us for official Endorsement. In fact, in some cases, they have advised us not to nominate our own party candidates. They front non FDC candidates who seek cooperation, they present them for endorsement.  They compel us to support Independents or non FDC candidates.

It all depends on their assessment of the ground, the popularity of the candidate, the possibility of winning and the political atmosphere. FDC does not field a candidate for PR, we don’t support any candidate for any position, we endorse candidates who campaign to win.

One Uganda One People

Ingrid Turinawe

FDC National Secretary for MOBILISATION AND ORGANISATION

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