Opposition political parties have withdrawn from the Inter-Party Dialogue (IPOD) and the National Consultative Forum (NCF) following Tuesday’s passing Constitutional Amendments Bill 2015.
The Opposition accuses government of ignoring IPOD’s recommendations and using its majority numbers to have the bill passed without the recommendations.
Professor Fredrick Ssempebwa, the deputy chairperson of The Democratic Alliance (TDA) told journalists at the Alliance’s offices in Naguru that all opposition efforts will now be geared towards unseating the current government with a view of carrying out reforms in future.
“The political parties, be it CP, DP, JEEMA, the National Resistance Movement and UPC have been involved in the process of discussing reforms under the inter-party organisation for dialogue – IPOD.”
“This process has been going on for a long time. It has taken resources amounting to over Shs 5bn. And most of this is donor funds by European taxpayers. This we consider money that has been wasted because as we speak nothing positive has come through this process.”
“The reforms that were recommended by this initiative have not been taken up by government. And you may note that government through the representation by NRM participated in the process, it is therefore surprising that they couldn’t accept whatever recommendation IPOD made”, he said.
IPOD’s proposals included among others; the need for Judicial Service Commission to appoint a selection committee which would identify suitable candidates to be appointed to as members of the Electoral commission (EC).
It also wanted the number of members of the EC to be increased from seven to nine.
All the six political parties’ Secretary Generals on IPOD had also recommended the reinstatement of Presidential term limits and that the term of Presidency extended from five to seven years.
Prof Ssempebwa said that TDA feels that the MPs on Tuesday absconded from their representative duty and overthrew the power of the people prescribed under the Constitution.
Adding that government’s actions and the decision of the ninth parliament were clearly at variance with the will of people.
IPOD is facilitated by Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy and was set up set up to offer dialogue and exchange of ideas among political parties in the country with a view of making the elections process better and fair for all.
Its members have been Conservative Party, Democratic Party, Forum for Democratic Change, Justice Forum, National Resistance Movement and Uganda People’s Congress.
The forum was operationalized under Section 20(4) of the Political Parties and Organizations Act No.18 of 2005.
Forum is currently comprised of thirty eight member political party/organizations with Secretariat as hosted within Electoral Commission.
Leader of Opposition in Parliament also the Alliance’s Spokesperson Wafula Oguttu, Acting Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) President Reagan Okumu, Democratic Party President Norbert Mao, Jeema president Asuman Basalirwa, Conservative Party President John Ken Lukyamuzi and others attended the meeting.