Today it was revealed that Speaker and Omoro Constituency Member of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah had died after months of sickness at the hospital in Seattle, United States of America. Now, the ramifications of it also needs to be addressed. Since, when an MP dies it automatically triggers a By-Election to get someone else to get his office. Alas, that will be the case here.
The National Resistance Movement (NRM) first has to have a Primary Election and find a successor as a flag-bearer in Omoro County. Since, the NRM has had Oulanyah running steadily on their tickets since 2011. He has been the sole proprietor of it since then and only had one term in the past as a Uganda People’s Congress MP. Therefore, the NRM got to search for someone eligible there ahead of the polls. As Oulanyah went unopposed in the recent flag-bearer race in Omoro County.
Secondly, we can assess a return of the former loser and runners-up in the 2021 election race. This being Independent candidate Olal Andrew P’obong and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidate Terence Odonga. We should expect them returning to the polls and try to sway the voters yet again.
Obong has been reportedly saying this ahead of the 2021 polls:
“You may have money, but power belongs to the people and they are the ones to decide. You have seen many strong politicians who have lost elections because they can’t account for their leadership. Leadership is not in a seat, it is how you mobilise your people for development” (New Vision – ‘2021 Polls: Two engineers threaten Speaker Oulanyah’s seat’ (18.06.2021).
We know that this seat has been contested before. In the 2016 General Elections, the then FDC candidate was said to have been kidnapped. The results pronounced even before the official counting. As well, as reports of boxes filled with pre-ticked ballots. Therefore, it is not like he was always a popular and an easy man to hit the polls.
What we can expect is that Olal Andrew P’obong might stage himself as the new NRM Flag-bearer, as he fought for that after moving from the FDC towards NRM in 2021. There is even further speculation that the failed Presidential Candidate and Democratic Party President Norbert Mao might seek re-election as MP and could vie for the Omoro County seat. However, that will be a different seat, as in the past he vied for the Gulu Municipality MP and was their MP between 1996-2006. By doing so, he still holds on to the resolution of only being the MP for Gulu Municipality for two terms. Nevertheless, that is just mere speculations and nothing is broadcasted yet on these matters.
Alas, we know things will move after Oulanyah is out of office and in the ground. There will be moves, the Electoral Commission will notify and prepare a road-map for By-Election on this seat. It will be heavily contested. As this is the first one in the 11th Parliament and a lot of prestige to keep it in the NRM. We can anticipate a much contested as the Arua By-Election in 2018. It would only make sense to think it could be like that. The whole state and whole machinery will do whatever it can to ensure victory. The Special Force Command and army arriving early. To think otherwise is naive and the opposition candidates will be silenced and struggle to have peace while holding rallies.
That is just my anticipations ahead of the polls in the Omoro County. Time will tell, but this inevitable to happen. The Omoro county cannot have a ghost representing it in the 11th Parliament. Peace.