Wednesday, January 30, 2019

UGANDA to ammend constitution to cement Dictator Museveni's life presidency

NRM to again amend the constitution for Museveni - opposition

January 31, 2019


Opposition accuses the NRM of plotting to amend the Constitution again

The ruling party, National Resistance Movement (NRM) is plotting to amend the constitution yet again, this time, to provide for the election of the president through the electoral college system according to a section of opposition MPs.

Mukono Municipality MP Betty Nambooze says they have received reports that NRM MPs are scheming for a constitutional amendment that proposes that the president be elected through the electoral college as opposed to the adult suffrage system which has been used over the years.

Nambooze said that under the plot, the NRM wants to suggest that the party with the highest number of legislators, automatically assumes the presidency. The president would be chosen from among the party’s own members as is the case in countries like South Africa.

This would imply that Ugandans will not be able to participate in the election of the president, but the powers will be vested in a small caucus of the party that has more legislators.

Nambooze made the revelation during a press conference addressed alongside the Leader of Opposition Betty Aol Ocan, and the opposition chief whip Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda.

“The members are being whipped to go to Kyankwanzi in the first week of February to consider a constitutional amendment to have the president elected by electoral college in a way that a party with the majority MPs in parliament will automatically assume the presidency. This is being done because, President Museveni is now considered weak and unable to go around the country [campaigning]. And two, it is a ploy to eliminate independent presidential. As opposition, we’re tired of a situation that our constitution is only amended whenever Mr Museveni feels that he lacks something somewhere.” said Nambooze.

Oppositions says that the move is being spearheaded by Bunyole West MP James Waluswaka and that the matter will be discussed during a retreat of the NRM caucus due to take place in Kyankwanzi next month.

But Waluswaka has denied knowledge of the proposal, which he, however, defines as good for the country. He says that by following such a procedure, the government will be saving billions of shillings spent on presidential elections.

“Now opposition is fearing NRM so let them suffer locally. If am spearheading, let them also move their own thing. But me I love opposition because they are my friends. But whatever they are talking about is wolokoso(speculation), it is not there but when it comes we shall tell you. You know at times we’re asleep and then opposition wakes us up. Now opposition has woken us up. We’re busy mobilising and now opposition have given us an idea, we shall sell it to the top management of NRM. If it is good it is good, if it’s bad its bad.” Waluswaka said.

Kassanda South MP Simeo Nsubuga also dismissed the opposition speculation as unfounded.

"At no time has there been a proposal that these laws should be amended to provide electoral colleges. That is not there, it has not been mentioned anywhere. The laws we used in the previous elections are still the same laws in place that were going to use in 2021." Nsubuga said.

In December 2017, parliament passed the Constitution Amendment Bill 2017 that saw the removal of the presidential age limits from the constitution - a move that critics said was for the sole benefit of Museveni who would have been ineligible to stand in the 2021 elections. The talk of the amendment also started as an informal suggestion among individual MPs but was later approved by the NRM caucus.

There are reports also that the NRM wants to adopt the Rwanda model of choosing parliamentarians. Under this model, MPs are selected based on the performance of a presidential candidate in a constituency.

If this model were to see the light of day, it means MPs in Uganda will not be elected but will be handpicked by their political parties based on the presidential election national results tally.

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