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NRM cadres seek referendum on presidential system

NRM Transformer Cadres Association. Photo via @DanielLutaaya

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The National Resistance Movement cadres under the ‘Transformer Cadres Association’, have written to the Electoral Commission asking for the details of the voter register to enable them to embark on their program to collect signatures to force an amendment to the constitution.

Through their president Adupa Ongwech Felix, the group says that they want to have a change of the current presidential system where all registered adults vote for the president through universal adult suffrage to a parliamentary system where the president will be voted by parliament and district local councils.

The group also suggested the change of the presidential term limits and the creation of the second layer of parliament called the upper house or the senate.

“As provided under section 11 of the Referendum and other provisions Act 2005, and Section 4 of other Political System Act 2000, we hereby write to inform you that we shall be undertaking the collection of signatures… as a fulfilment of the requirements for a petition to cause a referendum at a national level,” the letter written to the Electoral Commission chairman Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi reads.

“We hereby request the commission to unveil us the total number of the updated registered voters to guide us on the accurate number of voters’ signatures required for the petition as provided for under section 11 of the referendum and other provisions Act 2005.”

They added that article 74(3) states that the resolutions or petitions for the purposes of changing the political system shall be taken only in the fourth year of the term of any parliament. This is why we are initiating this process of the referendum as early as possible to meet the deadline,” the letter adds.

When contacted, the Electoral Commission confirmed receiving the letter and that necessary action will be taken to address its content.

“They have followed the right procedures of writing to the chair and like normally is the practice, we are going to study its content and respond accordingly. The Commission sits every week to deliberate on a number of issues of concern and I hope that will be one of the issues they will attend to,” said Paul Bukenya, the spokesperson of the Electoral Commission.

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