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FDC Advises Parliament to Reject Proposed Regulations for Political Parties

FDC party President Patrick Oboi Amuriat says that proposed means through which government wants political parties to conduct their internal meetings and elections defeat all fundamental human rights provided for under the Constitution.
04 Jul 2020 08:17
Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party President Patrick Oboi Amuriat. Photo by Olive Nakatudde.

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The Forum for Democratic Change-FDC party has described the proposed regulations for political  Parties and Organisations ahead of the 2021 general elections as ridiculous. 

The regulations were presented before parliament on Thursday, by Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu. The regulations, seek to provide guidance on the conduct of meetings and internal party elections at a time when the world is challenged with managing crowds in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the proposed regulation, government seeks to waive the requirement of holding delegates conferences to determine party official candidates for different leadership positions.  Instead, it is suggested, that candidates be chosen by an electoral college and that the political Parties should hold virtual meetings through video conferencing, and circulate resolutions to members who are not physically present. 

The members will then take a vote on major decisions by signing to assent or dissent. The parties will also be required to hold elections in a phased manner. The government argues that given the COVID-19 pandemic, instead of risking the lives of members, the parties can disregard their Constitutions by giving power to the executive committee to employ any of the suggested procedures. 

These regulations come a few weeks after the Electoral Commission (EC) issued a revised roadmap for 2021 general elections, in which open-air campaigns were banned. Instead, the Electoral Commission asked candidates to use digital platforms to reach their electorate. 

Now the FDC party President Patrick Oboi Amuriat says that proposed means through which government wants political parties to conduct their internal meetings and elections defeat all fundamental human rights provided for under the Constitution.   

//Cue in; “this instrument seeks… 

Cue out…to alter results.”//  

Amuriat was on Friday appearing before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament which was tasked to scrutinize the proposed regulations. He said that the regulations are not practical since they provide for lining up behind candidates yet at the same time trying to implement COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures.  

//Cue I; “secret ballot, open…  

Cue out…laced with interests.”//

Amuriat added that the proposal for candidates to be chosen by an electoral college is forcefully amending the constitutions of different political parties without their authority.  

“The Constitution is ours but Ephraim Kamuntu wants to tell us what to do with our party. He doesn’t have that liberty, what he will need to do is to join the FDC before he can have a say on the affairs of the FDC,” he said while advising the committee to reject the regulations.

//Cue in; “what Prof. Kamuntu… 

Cue out…it is exterminated.”// 

FDC Secretary General Nathan Nandala Mafabi said that the Political Parties are provided for under the Constitution and that their processes cannot be changed by mere regulations. He appealed to the Committee to have a positive mind while making recommendations about the new regulations. 

//Cue in; “colleagues this law… 

Cue out…rejected in totality.”// 

The Legal Committee is set to interface with the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party and the Democratic Party (DP) on the proposed regulations and the revised Election roadmap on Monday.

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