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Plot to change voting system is misplaced energy – opposition

FILE PHOTO: Parliamentary Caucus retreat in Kyankwanzi

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Opposition legislators have dismissed as misplaced energy, a plot by the National Resistance Movement-NRM party to introduce a Parliamentary System of Government.

There have been reports that the ruling party was nursing the idea of moving from the Presidential System of government to the Parliamentary System. The idea is one of those expected to be discussed at the ongoing NRM Parliamentary Caucus retreat in Kyankwanzi.

The idea would require a Constitutional Amendment which, if approved, will give the party with the majority seats in parliament a mandate to choose the country’s president. The system, used in the United Kingdom (UK) and South Africa was also used in Uganda in the years after independence.

But some of the Opposition legislators say that the move is designed to disadvantage Ugandans who are given ultimate powers under Article 1 of the Constitution; Power belongs to the people.

In an interview with Uganda Radio Network-URN, Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga said that changing the voting system will not enshrine democracy in Uganda. He noted that the NRM MPs were being short-changed by President Yoweri Museveni who now fears to face Ugandans in the ballot.

Kumi Municipality MP Silas Aogon criticized the plot by NRM legislators saying that it is wrong to have a system that imposes a leader on Ugandans.

Jinja East MP Paul Mwiru expressed no shock at the move saying that numerous constitutional amendments fronted by the NRM were designed to benefit President Yoweri Museveni, as an individual, riding on the party’s numerical strength in Parliament.

He said that Museveni is trying to run away from the popular vote and settle for a few Members of Parliament who can be easily compromised.



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