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Kadaga, IPOD meet over electoral reforms

IPOD council meets Rebecca Kadaga. PHOTO via @pwatchug

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Members of the Inter party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) Council have met the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga to discuss the IPOD resolution of enacting electoral reforms.

The iPod is composed of Political Parties including National Resistance Movement (NRM), Democratic Party (DP), Justice Forum (JEEMA), Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC) and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) with representation in Parliament.

Last month, the IPOD’s summit composed of party heads, gathered at Protea Hotel and made a number of resolutions including the need for agreeable electoral reforms, the need to bar members from contesting as independents, increasing financial support to member parties among others.

Today a team led by the DP Secretary General also the iPod Council Chairperson, Gerald Siranda, met Speaker Kadaga and asked her to take lead and ensure that the resolutions are implemented since most of them require amendments to existing laws.

Siranda, in particular, implored Kadaga to lend support to a series of electoral reforms that the Council and IPOD summit are set to discuss on July, 20th in an extraordinary IPOD summit leaders’ meeting. He noted that the summit has agreed to deliberate on all the proposals and ideas that have been fronted by all parties and the civil society.

The issue of electoral reforms has been a sticking issue ahead of the next general election in 2021 with Parliament continuously calling on the executive to present the necessary Bills on time in order to avoid being stampeded.

Siranda further informed the Speaker that candidates fronted by Political Parties do not have to collect signatures from the electorate. Another proposal is to limit the amount of electioneering resulting from creation of constituencies or when a seat falls vacant.

Siranda said the suggestion is to wait for the next electoral cycle when a new constituency is created and for seats that fall vacant all the bi-elections should be held within a set period.

He also fronted a proposal to have all election petitions handled within a year to avoid uncertainty.

Kadaga was in agreement with the IPOD council on the disorganization coming from continuous elections being held as a result of the creation of new constituencies. She lamented that a number of new seats remain unfilled owing to lack of funds to conduct elections supporting the idea of such constituencies having to wait for the next election cycle.

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