VIDEO: Are pressure groups a threat to party existence?

In the science of political development through democracy, a stage is reached where there is no need to create a party for every political interest. This gives rise to pressure groups which have been a common feature in the politics of the country.

People Power is the latest pressure group that has stolen the hearts of many Ugandans with its charismatic leader, Kyadondo East legislator Robert Kyagulanyi, best known as musician Bobi Wine. It is purely political and seeks to address particular political interests.

With such a pressure group, one would say some political victories have been achieved in the quest to bring about change which is the goal of the group. Bugiri, Arua, Jinja east are just a few examples to point to that saw political party power overshadowed by the presence of a popular pressure group.

According to the political parties and organizations act of 2005, Pressure groups are recognized.

Overtime, Uganda has seen evolution of pressure groups many of which emerge from main stream political parties with Democratic Party accounting for many of them. In the last general elections, from the DP came the Truth and Justice forum led by Erias Lukwago who claimed its cause was to restore the role of DP, the core values of the party that is; truth and justice, fundamental human rights, rule of law and the constitutionalism.

Go Forward under Amama Mbabazi is another such that claimed to also advocate for change. This one would say emerged from dissatisfaction from the NRM.

Ahead of the 2011 elections, the case was no different with the emergence of the Essubi Lya Buganda group also known as Ssubi still from the DP Buganda group. This group entered into the interparty coalition backing Kiiza Besigye from the FDC against their own Norbert Mao. The Uganda Young Democrats Foundation for Formation was no different from pushing for particular agenda like ending political suppression.

Reform Agenda is another pressure group formed by mainly Movement supporters who backed the candidature of Dr Kizza Besigye, a former Movement national political commissar and Bush War medical officer.The group was formed after the 2001 elections, which Dr Besigye lost to Mr Museveni. It mainly sought to address abuse of human rights and denial of basic freedoms, separation of powers, commitment to peaceful resolution of conflicts, free and fair elections, transparency and accountability in the use of state resources among others.

However, many have accused leaders of such groups for fuelling individual rather than national concerns.

Just how long can these pressure groups be relied on? Many other pressure groups have been formed, disintergrated and fizzled out, or chosen the path to metamophosize into registered political parties. Will the current pressure groups follow the same path?

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