One candidate has stepped down in favour of Winnie Matsiko the NRM flag bearer in the Rukungiri district Woman Parliamentary by-election, on advice by former Security Minister, Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde who is camped in Rukungiri to drum up support for Winnie.
For days, the retired Gen has been combing Rukungiri district asking the electorate to productively mobilize support for the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party.
At a rally held in Kebisoni subcounty earlier this week, Elizabeth Rwakitonera Tayebwa who was an Independent candidate announced that she had withdrawn from the race with only six days to the polling day.
“I know there are people I had approached for support amongst those of you here today. But for the good of the party, when the leadership discussed with me, they advised that I rally behind the bus [NRM symbol],” she told people who attended the rally.
At the same rally, Gen Tumukunde revealed that he had advised Independent candidate Rwakitonera to step down for Matsiko for the good of NRM.
“I asked her ‘Rwakitonera, you have really frustrated the party?’ I advised her to put the interest of the party first which she did. I want you to thank her,” Tumukunde said.
Rwakitonera acknowledged that she stepped down following Tumukunde’s advice.
She has already begun canvassing support for Winnie Matsiko whose biggest opponent is FDC’s Betty Muzanira.
On Friday, the Electoral Commission Chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama confirmed that Rwakitonera had indeed notified the Electoral body of her withdrawal.
“It is true that one of the candidates in the Rukungiri by-election has withdrawn from the race, and that is provided for in the law,” Byabakama said.
Reports indicate that General Tumukunde is courting another independent candidate, Sheila Kirebete to step down and combine efforts with Rwakitobera in favor of NRM’s Winnie Matsiko.
Polling day is set for May 31 2018.
During Friday’s press conference, the EC Chairman lauded the people of Rukungiri for upholding peace and calm in the campaigns so far, but also warned public servants including those in security against partisanship in the ongoing elections across the country.
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