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Saturday, August 13, 2022

FDC punches holes in proposed political party regulations

Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) says it will not accept proposed 2021 election regulations requiring parties to adjust flag bearer identification processes.

Days ago, Prof Ephraim Kamuntu presented Political Parties and Organisations (Conduct of Meetings and Elections) Regulations 2020 before Parliament.

The Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister suggested ways of choosing party candidates without exposing Ugandans to the Covid19 risk through gatherings.

The proposed means of identify flag bearers include virtual meetings, phased elections, Electoral College model and regulated physical meeting of a few party officials.

The other proposal is extending the term of office for parties’ key organs, especially those that choose flag bearers.

But Uganda’s largest opposition political party says the party will not allow the proposed regulations because they favour the ruling NRM party.

Party spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda argued that NRM was in a fix because it can’t hold internal elections since it recently approved the lining up method of voting.

“The NRM wants to return to Electoral College and secret ballot which they selfishly removed from their constitution,” Ssemujju noted.

“Let them carry their cross alone.”

The party urged MPs to “reject these regulations because they have the effect of overthrowing multiparty democracy.”“This is encouraging political parties to overthrow their own constitutions. How then will parties respect the national Constitution?” wondered Ssemujju.

“As FDC, the procedures and processes of candidate identification and selection are well laid out in our constitution. We will not learn NRM bad manners.”

Meanwhile, the party said it would continue preparing for elections despite uncertainty of the general polls exercise. 

Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama recently said the EC was considering proposals on allowing regulated meetings.

But the main opposition party insisted the commission must hold the elections in the manner stipulated in the Constitution.

FDC also decried the arrest, torture and detention of its officials in Kapelebyong District.

They are: the party’s Okungur sub county chairperson Emmanuel Omoding, Okungur LC3 chairperson aspirant Simon Peter Osou.

Ssemujju said police confiscated party cards and nomination forms from Omoding, before detaining him and Osou at Okungur Police Station.

He demanded their immediate and unconditional release.

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