EC calls meeting amidst objections to NUP constitution changes

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EC calls meeting amidst objections to NUP constitution changes
NUP members outside the party offices in Masaka City

The Electoral Commission (EC) has announced plans to address objections raised against proposed amendments to the constitution of the National Unity Platform (NUP) Party.

Controversy recently arose over the absence of a fundamental supreme law, the constitution, within the party.

The party has since acknowledged the deficiencies in their constitution but maintains that the document, inherited from 2020, has undergone amendments and was officially gazetted by the Electoral Commission in 2023.

According to the NUP, the adoption of the amended constitution was conditional upon the completion of the Electoral Commission's remaining administrative procedures about the document.

This clarification came amidst heightened scrutiny of the NUP constitution, following the suspension of Mathias Mpuuga, the Party's deputy president in Buganda.

Mpuuga has been accused of irregularly receiving 500 million shillings as a service award for his leadership as the leader of the opposition in Parliament for two-and-a-half terms.

In a statement obtained by the Nile Post, Russell Jacques Leonard Mulekwah, the Secretary of the Electoral Commission, stated that the commission received a resolution from the NUP Party on April 18, 2023, regarding proposed changes to its constitution.

"On December 7, 2023, the Commission issued a notice regarding the proposed amendments, by the Political Parties and Organizations Act of 2005," he said.

Mulekwah emphasised that the publication of the notice in the Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation Gazette on January 5, 2024, was intended to provide the public with an opportunity to raise objections to the process.

However, objections to the proposed changes were received by the EC from M/S Baraka Legal Associates, Solicitors & Legal Consultants.

"To address the raised concerns, the Commission deems it necessary to engage with all parties involved to ensure free and fair elections and referenda," stated Mulekwah.

"A meeting has been scheduled for May 14, 2023, inviting both the NUP Party and Baraka Legal Associates to discuss the objections and find a way forward," he added.

In 2023, the NUP implemented significant changes to its constitution, including a provision that limits the terms of its leaders at the national and local levels to two terms only.

This new amendment was adopted during an extraordinary meeting to review proposals put forth by its constitutional review committee.

Under the new amendment, individuals are prohibited from serving as party president, chairperson, or secretary-general for more than two terms. The proposal is set to take effect in 2026.

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