Democratic Party will be steering IPOD activities for the next six months. Top on its agenda will be IPOD summit slated for May 15th 2019. The summit is a meeting of leaders of political parties represented in IPOD.
The Democratic Party (DP) has today assumed the
leadership of the Inter-party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD), replacing Uganda
Peoples’ Congress (UPC).
Democratic Party will be steering IPOD activities
for the next six months. Top on its agenda will be the IPOD summit slated for May
15th, 2019. The summit is a meeting of leaders of political parties
represented in IPOD.
The DP Secretary General, Gerald Siranda also
assumed leadership of the IPOD council. The council brings together secretary
generals and selected representatives of parties under the IPOD arrangement. The
council does technical work.
IPOD which brings together political parties
represented in parliament is funded by the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty
DP President, Norbert Mao, speaking during the
handover event held at Protea Hotel on Monday, said the schedule for the next summit is already
written in all party presidents calendar. DP’s responsibility, he said will be
to ensure that all IPOD members, including Forum for Democratic Change (FDC)
attend the next summit.
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Luganda: DP Secretary General, Gerald Siranda
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FDC snubbed the first ever IPOD summit held in
December last year, under the leadership of UPC. The FDC argued that they could not
attend an event where President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the national chairperson of the ruling
party attended as president of Uganda. FDC wanted Museveni to attend as an
equal of other party presidents, without protocol and security details.
Mao lauded UPC for achieving nearly the impossible - bringing
Museveni to the summit in December last year. “My leadership will be a
continuity because I worked very closely with the outgoing chair of the summit
(Jimmy Akena) to ensure that the chairman of NRM commits to the summit without
delegating,” he said.
DP will also be working towards implementation of last
year’s summit recommendation. The summit recommended IPOD council to deliberate
upon an equitable formula for increasing and appropriation of public funds
given to political parties through the Electoral Commission.
The summit further recommended council to look into the
issue electoral reforms as political parties prepare for 2021 general
elections. Electoral reforms have been demanded by opposition parties as a mean
of leveling playing field. Gerald Siranda says they will continue pushing
National Resistance Movement to accept electoral reforms.
The IPOD council, Siranda said will be meeting Prime
Minister, Ruhanda Rugunda and top on the agenda will be pushing government to
commit to electoral reforms as early as possible.
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IPOD Executive Secretary who is also the Country
Representative of Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy, Frank Rusa
said DP’s leadership comes at a critical time when political parties are
preparing for 2021 elections.
“My hope is that these organs realise that only by
working together to achieve one common goal, which is ultimately, a fully functional
and democratic Uganda. So there is a need to unite now, more than ever,” he