The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has rejected the government’s proposed regulations to govern political parties’ internal elections during Covid-19 period, presented to Parliament Last week.
Parties under regulation (2) to conduct virtual meetings, generate resolutions through signing of papers and to use unauthorized organs of parties to handpick flag bearers.
The party spokesperson Ssemujju Nganda urged Parliament to reject proposed regulations claiming that they have the effect of overthrowing multiparty democracy. “As FDC, the procedures and processes of candidate identification and selection are well laid out in our constitution. We will not learn NRM bad manners.”
“We have been informed that these regulations are solely to benefit the National Resistance Movement (NRM) which manipulated its Constitution recently to provide for lining up behind candidates and are now stuck because of Covid-19. The NRM wants to return to the Electoral College and secret ballot which they selfishly removed from their constitution. Let them carry their cross alone.” He said adding that even when they are passed by Parliament, FDC will defy them.
The FDC believes World Health Organization (WHO) finding that social distancing, hand washing and wearing face masks are the surest way of stopping the spread of Covid-19 by the Corona virus.
“Holding a normal election on the dates stipulated in the Constitution (January-February 2020) as announced by the Electoral Commission is a big risk. But if as a country we choose to do so, these elections must be transparent as commanded by the Constitution. The Constitution provides for only normal elections where candidates freely interact with the electorate.” He said adding that any attempt to modify these elections will be unlawful.
He said the country should allow the term of office for the current administration to expire and an interim council should run the government and organize elections when the pandemic is over. The nature of the council and its members should be agreed upon by all political players in the country.
“That is what will resolve the current impasse. Parliament can make the necessary changes to the Constitution and electoral laws to accommodate this situation.”