Proposed Electoral Reforms: Political activists in Uganda say the tabled Electoral Reforms are invalid, lacking key elements
Political activists in Uganda say the tabled Electoral Reforms are invalid, lacking key elements to correctly make the upcoming general elections.
The proposed Electoral Reforms were tabled on the floor of Parliament on Thursday 25 of July 2019, by the Attorney General, William Byaruhanga few hours to the closure of the deadline, after three years’ from the time Supreme Court recommended Electoral Reforms in Uganda’s elections.
A City Lawyer, Kassim Male Mabirizi says the proposed Electoral Reforms were purposely made to increase chances of stealing the vote.
“But now they are creating a gap to make it easy for them to rob the elections, that’s why they are saying now don not go to the polling station with a phone, because they know with the technology of smartphones you can take a picture. Now they are making it so cloud and dark so that they can rob elections, the point is if you get an election rigger and then you request him to bring reforms so that he cannot ridge, what he does is to bring reforms which are going to further his rigging,” Mabirizi said.
Kampala lord mayor Elias Lukwago says the electoral reforms indicate NRM internal conflicts, so they are trying to mitigate them.
“Because you know the wrangles they have there are many, candidates who would like to stand on the NRM platform but there are those actually who want to quit. So they want to make it so difficult for them to exit, they want to make it so strung extremely difficult for NRM members to quit the party and stand as independents, basically, that’s what they want,” Lukwago said.
Crispin Kaheru, the coordinator Citizens Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU), says some sections in the proposed Electoral Reforms are good.
“You see like setting times for campaigns and meetings that are a good reform, setting the time between 7 am and 6 pm, I think that’s a progressive reform.”
Nevertheless, Kaheru says some of the sections in this proposed Reforms needs elimination, and he urged parliament to critically analyse them.
“The architect of these reforms, shutting the door against people who want to run as independents in this country. I think that’s unfortunate and it’s something that we are going to fight,” said Kaheru.
The Electoral Reforms after they were tabled by the AG Byaruhanga, Speaker Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga forwarded them to the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament for scrutiny and afterwards present a report before the honourable members of parliament.
Now the public stands waiting what really will come out of the committee.