The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has rejected the recently forwarded proposals for electoral reforms saying the proposals from government are a mere mockery of the political players in the country. The proposals are now before the parliamentary committee on legal and parliamentary affairs and FDC says it is an opportunity to challenge the proposals.
Last week, government tabled proposals to the much awaited electoral reforms, to which many Ugandans hoped would define the electoral road map ahead of the 2021 general elections. In 2016, the supreme court ordered government to make reforms in the electoral laws, that would enable all political players exercise their rights in a manner seen as free and fair. But FDC says the reforms as they are will make politics harder.
FDC spokesperson Ssemujju Nganda says,“What they have tabled are not reforms. They have tabled their own version of stringent rules only aimed at making politics harder and undesirable.”
Among the many proposals that is irking FDC is the proposals to have the armed forces vote 4 days before the general elections. To the FDC, this is an old tactic to rig elections, as well a high handed method to curtail the freedoms and rights of the men and women in uniform.
Ssemujju argues, “Most of the proposals are ridiculous. They want to curtail independent candidates, voting time, days and also curtail the army. We had achieved having the army vote outside the barracks with the population but if they want to reverse that and also have them vote 4 days before, you can see that we are about to lose even the little we have achieved over the last couple of years.”
2021 is fast approaching, and a section of the public is already questioning why government had to wait this late to make reforms to the electoral laws. Some people already believe that some of the proposals are meant to curtail people power principal Robert Kyagulanyi while other are targeting dissident members of the ruling NRM. Hope for the various political players now lies in parliament, when the proposals are before the parliamentary committee on legal and parliamentary affairs.