The chairman of the Electoral Commission, Justice Simon Byabakama, has said that the choice is up to the National Unity Platform to follow the law or act outside it as the contest continues over the choice of red as its dominant colour.
According to Byabakama, the commission has never gazetted change in colours for the party, only honouring the request for a change of name.
“If National Unity Platform is a law abiding political organization which I want to believe they are, you can’t use something which has not been cleared under the law because you can only adopt that as party colour or the symbol once the commission has gazetted that change,”Byabakama said.
He said the commission only consented to the gazetting of the party name not the party colours as claimed by the leaders of NUP.
“Therefore it is up-to National Unity Platform to decide whether to act within the law or to act outside the law. It is their choice,” he said.
Byabakama said NUP applied for a change of its colours to make red the dominant one but the request was turned down because the colour had already been taken by another party.
“This year they again applied to the commission to change the colours of their symbols and umbrella from the ones the old party used to have, to now a dominant red against the blue and white background. The commission replied to NUP that their proposal was not tenable in the sense that red was already a preserve of UPC party,” he said.
However, Robert Kyagulanyi, the president of NUP insisted that the party will continue using the colour noting that when a political party has registered colours, it has aright to use it.
“Mr Byabakama and the electoral commission should be ashamed of themselves. They are on a test, they are on trial. People are looking at them and they want see whether they are independent or not,”Kyagulanyi said.
He accused the commission and the UPC of being used by the regime.
“We know that President Museveni has not only used the electoral commission but also UPC,”he said.