The independent and opposition legislators in parliament say the proposed Electoral Reforms by government particularly targets them, however, these legislators say they are ready to fight them.
Lutamaguzi Ssemakula, Member of Parliament Nakaseke County South (DP) said they were shocked of what the Attorney General William Byaruhanga presented before the plenary sitting on Thursday 25 of July 2019.
“Because you can’t tell me that you can bar an independent Presidential candidate from working with political parties that they shouldn’t support them. And then you come out and tell us that the people in the armed forces should vote five days before the day of elections, what are you trying to create? then you bar cameras, you bar mobile phones from the electoral area, what are you trying to create?” Lutamaguzi said.
Waira Majegere legislator Bunya County East (IND) says they are ready to fight for their rights and they will make sure that such laws are not passed.
“So we have to fight, we have to fight it, otherwise if we just keep quiet there will be no room for breathing,” Majegere said.
These MPs say these laws are tailored to cartel the forces of change in bringing about the desired change that the citizens of Uganda have been long waiting for.
In their view, these proposed Electoral Reforms are unconstitutional particularly in the section where they seek banning members of different party affiliations to have any relationship with each other.
“We have the freedom to associate, we also have the freedom to disassociate. It cannot be tagged on time frame, but if it’s some year to the elections you cannot disassociate, you cannot associate, you cannot become independent if it was passed that way it would be unconstitutional,” Moses Kasibante, MP Lubaga North said.
Bugangaizi East legislator, Onesmus Twinamasiko says that political parties need to work on the issues that force them to abandon them and stand as independents rather than focussing on infringing their freedoms.
“Parties are lacking internal democracies, they have not been able to arrange credible elections, that’s why we are over 66 independents in parliament and almost 40 or 50 something of these 66 has been in the party primaries.”
However, Robert Kasolo, legislator IKi-IKI County says the proposed amendments were raised from the IPOD meeting, so this should not cause fear among member.
“We need an assurance from them that in case they are bringing such proposals, have they put in their parties’ right? Is there internal democracy in their parties? those will be the issues we will put to them,” Kasolo said.
In these proposed amendments by government, after participating in the party primaries and you lose the election you will not be permitted to stand as an independent candidate.
Nonetheless, if one seeks to vacate the party, he/she will have to wait for a whole year before standing as a candidate.