Inter Party Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) members want the Electoral Commission to drop the requirement of political aspirants collecting signatures before they are nominated, saying the process is costly.
The call was made today by the IPOD Council Chair, Gerald Blacks Siranda while presenting the IPOD electoral and constitutional reform proposals to the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga where he noted that the proposal if adopted will help to minimize on the costs and the time wasted by political aspirants in collecting signatures.
IPOD is a platform for all political parties represented in Parliament including National Resistance Movement (NRM), Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), Conservative Party (CP), Democratic Party (DP) and Justice Forum (JEEMA).
Siranda, who also doubles as the DP Secretary General said that there is need for Government to provide a time frame within which by-elections are conducted.
“We propose that candidates supported by parties shall not be required to collect signatures from electoral areas for them to be nominated. The parties are already registered; the parties have already got the signatures. Other countries where multi-party democracy works when the party endorses you, you aren’t supposed to look for signatures,” he said.
Among the proposals the IPOD is planning to bring before Parliament is to the need to increase funding to political parties, a request Kadaga said would be discussed by Parliament when the proposals are tabled for scrutiny.
Responding to the matter, Kadaga said: “I am also happy that our country is one of the few that support political parties. In some countries, if you are in position there are things you don’t get. I will not go into the proposals of sharing the money it is a matter for discussion. I do hope that the Prime Minister who is part of the IPOD should be able to come here and lay the proposals because if it is the issue of governance, we should find a home for it.”
It should be recalled that during that recent IPOD summit in Entebbe, Political Parties officials unanimously agreed to allocate Shs35bn towards entities with parliamentary representation with calls to have the money increased by Shs20bnn from the current Shs10bn.
Kadaga also concurred with IPOD members on the proposal to reduce nomination fees from Shs3M for Members of Parliament, describing the fee as exorbitant.
“The other matter which bothered me is a new system whereby districts are created. You know we have failed to hold by elections now for more than a year,” Kadaga said.