February 12, 2015

Opposition might Pull Out Of 2016 Polls

Opposition legislators are yet to decide on whether to participate in the 2016 polls government should fail introduce Electoral Reforms to ensure free and fair elections.

Opposition MPs led by Leader of Opposition Wafula Oguttu at Royal Suites Bugolobi earlier today
Opposition MPs led by Leader of Opposition Wafula Oguttu at Royal Suites Bugolobi earlier today

The MPs who are attending a two day’s retreat at Royal Suites Bugolobi, are worried that, the ruling National Resistance Movement will use its numbers in the house to shoot down a set of proposed electoral reforms.

Last year, the opposition teamed up with civil society and selected senior citizens to traverse various parts of the country leading to the drafting the Citizen’s Compact of Electoral Reforms.

Key among the proposed reforms, the Opposition is demanding for an independent Electoral Commission, a new national voter’s register and revision of the role of security agencies in the electoral process.

Augustine Ruzindana, the Deputy Secretary general Forum for Democratic Change has asked opposition legislators to come up with a definite position on whether they will participate or boycott the 2016 election should the proposed reforms not it through.

Jack Sabiiti, the Rukiiga County MP wants the opposition to boycott the polls should government fail to adopt the electoral reforms.

However, Wafula Oguttu, the leaders of the Opposition in parliament says a boycott would only be sensible if the Opposition comes up with a stronger alternative such as citing an armed struggle or civil disobedience.

He says in the past the opposition tried to boycott elections and government went ahead to conduction elections and creates an opposition.  Wafula said they are pushing for several reforms.

Yesterday, the opposition legislators received presentations on the Electoral reforms by Inter-Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) which was presented by the FDC representative to IPOD Augustine Luzindana.

In the afternoon they received a presentation from Godber Tumushabe on the Citizen’s Compact on Electoral Reforms.

This morning, the Opposition MPs will be discussing the proposed aspects for Constitutional and Electoral Reforms and their Justification led by the retired Kampala Bishop Zack Niringiye.

In the afternoon, David Pulkol, the former director General of the external security organization will present the necessary political reforms for free and fair elections followed by a plenary discussion chaired by Cecilia Ogwal, the opposition chief whip.

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