Jailed Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) former presidential candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye, has sounded a call to the Opposition members to stop scrambling for appointments in the Opposition’s shadow cabinet because it’s not worthy struggling for.
According to Besigye, parliament cannot change anything on the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) government status quo.
He said opposition MPs should be reduced to fighting for small positions in Parliament and that what they need to be fighting for is to strengthen their position on the ground and form strong structures to develop capacity to take on president Yoweri Museveni’s the regime that has lost credibility.
Dr Besigye made the remarks during a visit by a delegation from Ntungamo at the prison where he is on remand on treason charges.
In the February 2016 elections, NRM secured close to 300 seats in the 10th Parliament out of the 402 seats.
NRM maintaining its grip on Parliament after returning close to 300 MPs, followed by Independents allied to its ranks, the 10th Parliament is turning out to be a recurring tale of NRM dominance against a weak Opposition.
Since the return to multiparty democracy in 2005, Opposition parties in Parliament, faced with the crushing numerical strength of the NRM, have resorted to House walkouts, boycotts and protests which have seen some of their members violently ejected from the Chambers.
In the 9th Parliament, the NRM had 264 MPs, the Opposition 63 with 43 Independents – majority of whom were NRM leaning.
Add to that the 10 Army MPs, who usually side with the government and you have an idea of the reach of the NRM control of the 9th Parliament.
For the 10th Parliament, FDC returned 36 MPs, Democratic Party (DP) 14 and the Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) six MPs, leaving the Opposition in control of only 56 parliamentary seats.
With such majority in the 10th parliament, it is already clear the NRM will have an upper hand.