Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Council of the Inter-party Organization for Dialogue- IPOD is set to meet this Friday to discuss activities to be conducted by IPOD under the leadership of Forum for Democratic Change-FDC party. The Council comprises of Secretaries from all member parties.
The platform brings together political parties with representation in parliament including the ruling National Resistance Movement- NRM party, the Uganda People’s Congress-UPC, Justice Forum-JEEMA, Democratic Party-DP and the Forum for Democratic Change-FDC.
The IPOD Council Chairperson and FDC party General Secretary, Nathan Nandala Mafabi told URN on Tuesday that the scheduled meeting will discuss the activities to be conducted by IPOD and release a road map to the effect. According to Nandala, one of the key issues they will seek to address is Electoral reforms something FDC and the opposition as a whole has fronted for long.
These include the restoration of presidential term limits to two five year terms, open recruitment of Electoral Commission officials and delineation of the military from the electoral process. The JEEMA Party Secretary General, Muhammad Kateregga, says on top of the proposed electoral reforms, IPOD should discuss and pursue the issue of funding to political parties ahead of the 2021 elections.
He says that IPOD funders, Netherlands Institute of Multi-Party Democracy-NIMD and the Democratic Governance Facility- DGF should fund parties to conduct activities like delegates conference and grassroots elections. Kateregga says that parties were funded in 2011 and the same could be done because opposition parties don’t have sufficient funding to organise such events preceding the general elections.
He says that they don’t receive sufficient funding under the Political Parties and Organisations Act because the ruling NRM party takes the largest amount of money from government since it has the highest number of legislators.
The UPC Spokesperson, Michael Osinde also said electoral reforms are a key issue but declined to expound on their expectations, saying it would preempt Friday’s meeting. Osinde further hopes that the council discusses aspects of funding to political parties, saying it should be increased to enable internal preparations ahead of the general elections.
He is optimistic that the decisions taken by IPOD shall be implemented by all parties. However, Kateregga is concerned that the IPOD resolutions are only successful at the wish of the ruling party. He said IPOD has made resolutions that have later been ignored by government.
NRM has been faulted for not providing a level playing ground for parties to operate. Government has continuously been accused of frustrating opposition party activities using the Public Order Management Act 2013. The NRM party leadership couldn’t be reached by the time of publishing this story.