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HomeULTIMATE POLITICSJUST IN: Two Of Museveni's Nominated EC Commissioners Not Vetted, See Details...

JUST IN: Two Of Museveni’s Nominated EC Commissioners Not Vetted, See Details Here

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When the term of office for the electoral commission ran out on 7th January 2024, all eyes were on president Museveni on whom he will appoint to preside over the 2026 general elections where himself will be a candidate in his bid to extend his grip to power to 45 years.

Few days later, Museveni in a letter dated 5th January to the speaker of parliament who heads parliament’s appointments committee, the president retained Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama and Hajjat Aisha Lubega as the chairperson and vice chairperson of the Electoral Commission respectively.

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He also retained one commissioner of the five and sent home the other four. The one retained was Stephen Tashobya and those fired were Justine Ahabwe ugabi, Mustapha Ssebagala kigozi, Nathaline Etomaru and Peter Emorut.

He appointed four new commissioners who included Dr Simba Ssali Kayunga, Pamera Etonu Okudi, Anthony Okello and Robert Kasule Ssebunya (Former Kioga and Nansana Municipality legislators in the 10th parliament respectively).

The new appointees were supposed to be vetted today by the parliament’s appointments committee. It however happens that one of the designate presidential appointees was replaced under unclear circumstances and instead replaced by another name.

Former Nansana Municipality legislator Robert Kasule Ssebunya was no show at parliament today for vetting and instead another name and person availed herself for vetting instead of Ssebunya, this was Caroline Bainamaryo. Another person who didn’t appear was Pamera Etonu Okudi who is an Electoral Commission employees working as the Acting Head of Administration. Pamela was instead replaced by James Emorut who showed up to be vetted.

It’s not clear what led to the changes but the final list of the Electoral Commissioners for the next 7 years has Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama as Chairperson, Hajjat Aisha Lubega as Vice chairperson, Anthony Okello, Dr Simba Ssali Kayunga, James Emorut, Stephen Tashobya and Caroline Bainamaryo as Commissioners.

Since their nomination, Museveni has been under fire for appointing NRM cadres to an electoral commission which is supposed to be non-partisan ahead of the 2026 general elections. Kasule Robert Ssebunya, Anthony Okello and Stephen are all former legislators on the NRM ticket for Nansana Municipality, Kioga County and Kajara county respectively.

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