FDC protests EC appointments by Museveni

FDC protests EC appointments by Museveni
EC chairman Simon Byabakama appearing on NBS TV (Photo by Francis Isaano).

The opposition, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has criticized the reappointment of the Electoral Commission (EC) chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama.

Last week, President Yoweri Museveni renewed the term of office of the commission chairman, Byabakama, his deputy Aisha Lubega and five other commissioners for a seven-year term.

The president also appointed former National Resistance Movement (NRM) MPs, Robert Kasule and Anthony Okello to the commission.

During Monday press briefing, FDC’s publicity secretary, John Kikonyogo said they were opposed to the latest EC designations, arguing that officials making the commission are attached to the ruling party and as such cannot facilitate a free and fair electoral process.

“The FDC is concerned that the President has further entrenched partisanship in the country’s electoral process which has reduced the Electoral Commission to be an NRM outfit, Kikonyogo said.

He further noted that the appointment of “renown” NRM cadres, Kasule and Okello, is a strategy by the incumbent regime to tighten its grip on power.

“The appointment of Hon. Kasule Robert Ssebunya the former NRM Nansana Municipality MP and Hon. Okello the former NRM Kyoga County MP comes at a time when the Civil Society Organisations and opposition political parties through the citizens compact on free and fair elections and the FDC position is very clear, We don’t envisage a referee who is chosen by one of the competing teams. So we don’t expect justice to be dispensed.” Kikonyogo said.

“We proposed for an independent Commission that have citizens and Stakeholders participation, the Commission should be shortlisted on camera.” he added.

Kikonyogo said the party will actively participate in a protest against the current EC leadership.

FDC joins National Unity Platform (NUP) to express dissatisfaction with the commissioners’ appointments.

Last week, NUP leader Robert Kyagulanyi expressed concerns over Museveni’s appointment of the EC officials he said were attached to the ruling party.

"He no longer wants to pretend. He has decided to appoint renowned NRM cadres to the Electoral Commission- a clear message to Ugandans that he has no intention of ever holding a free and fair election," said Kyagulanyi.

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