Uganda’s Opposition has lined up 10 electoral reforms government should capture in the impending electoral reforms culminating from the Supreme Court ruling in 2016.
It should be noted that when former Premier, Amama Mbabazi challenged President Yoweri Museveni’s victory on grounds that the elections weren’t free and fair, the Justices proposed a number of electoral reforms and called on Parliament to have the reforms finalised two years before the 2021 General elections.
However, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Kahinda Otafiire has been playing ping pong since then. The Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has given him two months to table the reforms.
As the alternative government, the Opposition led by Betty Aol, the Leader of Opposition, Ssemujju Nganda, the Opposition Chief Whip and Betty Nambooze, the Shadow Minister of Information and Communication) on Wednesday made their 10 electoral reforms public during a press conference held at Parliament.
Introduction of a federal government, reinstating and entrenching presidential term limits and having a subsidized cabinet of only 21 ministers are among the top priority reforms proposed by the Opposition.
The Opposition also wants an Independent Electoral Commission, the Independence of Parliament secured and creation of Minority and Majority leaders in Parliament.
The other reforms are; creation of speaker’s panel that will be advising the speaker’s office and preside over parliament in case speaker and deputy are not present, and have a vice president as a running mate to the president in elections.
The Opposition is also proposing the run-ups in presidential elections to also join Parliament as ex officio members to enable the person that has contested in elections and garnered most votes to lead the Opposition in Parliament.
The Opposition also wants the army to get off from the political offices especially Parliament.
Defending the reforms, Nambooze, who is also the Mukono Municipality MP said Opposition cannot fold their hands as the NRM fails to put in place reforms and hide behind promise of setting up a Constitutional Review Commission as they wait for the NRM appointed Electoral Commission prepare and serve Uganda another sham election
She also invited all democracy seeking forces to offer them advice and revealed to have written to clerk to Parliament of their readiness to table these electoral reforms.
“We know very well that the reason the NRM has refused to present the Bills as ordered by the Supreme Court is because many of them are beneficiaries of rigged elections. We take note that some of the NRM leaders are also victims of flawed elections,” Nambooze said, adding: “It’s NRM that benefits from Electoral violence. The country is aware that presidential nominations will be conducted around August 2020.”