June 3, 2014

Norbert Mao: IPOD Dysfunctional

DP President Norbert Mao.
DP President Norbert Mao.

The Inter Party Organization for Dialogue-IPOD is dysfunctional, Norbert Mao, the DP president has said. IPOD brings together all political parties with representation in parliament.

They are the Forum for Democratic Change, Uganda People’s Congress, Democratic Party, JEEMA, and Conservative Party and the ruling NRM.

But Mao argues that, despite the fact that IPOD is meant to promote dialogue amongst the political parties, it is difficult to know where the ruling National Resistance Movement stands on a variety of issues.

In 2010, all political parties had agreed on legislative electoral reforms which were sent to Parliament but NRM disowned them. According to Mao, IPOD is not delivering since it is facing numerous obstacles because of the arrogance of NRM.

He says this is worsened by the fact that the NRM Secretary General has been sending his personal assistant who has no powers to their meetings.

Asuman Basalirwa, the President Justice Forum is the current chairman of IPOD. He argues that there is Veto challenge since IPOD runs on a consensus basis. This means all parties must agree on something yet most discussions are stampeded by NRM.

The revelations by Mao come as a surprise, since Amama Mbabazi, the prime minister has repeatedly assured parliament that electoral reforms are being handled in IPOD.

But Basalirwa says it is all diversionary since nothing substantive takes place due to the informal and non-binding state of the organization.
All political parties are expected to hold a retreat on the 17th of this month to discuss feedback on both non constitutional electoral reforms and those that would require constitutional amendments led by the electoral reforms committee. Our reporter couldn’t reach the prime minister for a comment by the time of filing this story.

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