Opposition leaders have failed to agree on their next course of action should government fail to adopt their proposed electoral reforms contained in the Citizen’s Compact.
Key among the proposal is the establishment of an independent Electoral Commission, re-introduction of presidential term limits and amendment of electoral laws pertaining to vote tallying and transmission of election results from the polling stations to the national tally center among others.
The opposition leaders and legislators met yesterday at Rivonia Suites in Mbuya, a city suburb to chat a way forward following the failure by government to include the proposed reforms in the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2015.
While a section of members proposed a boycott of the 2016 general elections, others suggested that they mobilize citizens to compel government to consider the proposed reforms through civil dissidence.
However, legislators present opposed the proposal to boycott the polls saying since they have to compete in elections, they can’t just surrender their constituencies to the ruling National Resistance Movement.
Kizza Besigye, the former leader of the Forum for Democratic Change Party said to realize free and fair elections, the talk shouldn’t just be about the electoral reforms but rather to mobilize people to boycott the polls until government passes the necessary reforms.
He says once the opposition accepts to participate in the polls under the given circumstances, it will be simply escorting NRM under the leadership of President Yoweri Museveni for another term of office.
Mugisha Muntu, the FDC party president asked all parties to concentrate on building their grassroots structures so that when time comes to call for mass movement against the regime, they will be on the same page.
Mathias Nsubuga, the acting President General of DP said it is important for the parties to work together to see that the proposed constitutional amendments by the sitting government don’t go through.
The calls by the party leaders didn’t go down well with some legislators who argued that some of the party officials never stood and won even an LC 1 election.
Nandala Mafabi, the former leader of the Opposition in Parliament, said that some of them fought seriously to go to parliament and will not accept to surrender their seats to NRM for the sake of reforms.
But Abdu Katuntu, the shadow Justice and Constitutional affairs minister said the opposition has to take a decision on whether or not to participate in the polls.
It took the intervention of Wafula Oguttu, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament to calm down the opposition members as they pointed accusing fingers at each other.