Democratic Party (DP) chairman Nobert Mao, has said that the new electoral reforms that were tabled by the government on Thursday evening are just another NRM strategy to curtail freedom of the opposition.
Yesterday, the government tabled proposed electoral reforms to several laws that included; Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill no. 17, 2019, Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Bill No.18, 2019 among others.
Key among the reforms that the opposition were interested in such as the reinstating and entrenching presidential term limits, making a deputy president a running mate to the president during elections and scrapping Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) representatives from Parliament and any other partisan institutions were ignored by the Amendment Bills that the opposition requested for earlier this year.
Now while appearing on NBS’ weekly political program; NBS Frontline, Mao said that these are just strategies by the NRM government to keep itself in power and close the door for opposition politicians.
Mao said that the proposals of opposition political parties were not considered.
“The reforms that have been announced today are just part of the strategies by NRM. The proposals will have to be tested in the constitutional court,” He said.
” I suspect these proposals were made in a hurry to meet the deadline but our proposals as political parties have not been addressed,” Mao added.
In his response, however, Chris Baryomunsi said that all political parties were involved in the consultation process.
“There has been a process of consultation and political parties like DP have been part of it, These constitutional reforms are partly a response to the proposals given by the Supreme Court,” Baryomunsi noted.
The reforms were tabled by Attorney General William Byaruhanga on behalf of the government.
He tabled them for the first reading before Parliament in a sitting that was chaired by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga.
Among the other bills included the Electoral Commission (Amendment) Bill No. 19, 2019, Political Parties and Organization (Amendment) Bill No. 20, 2019 and the Local Government’s (Amendment) Bill No. 21, 2019.
Kadaga forwarded all the five bills to the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee for scrutiny and they will finally present a report to Parliament.
The Opposition through Shadow Attorney General Wilfred Niwagaba is now expected to table their various amendments to electoral laws and the Constitution next Tuesday when Parliament sits.