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Stop petitioning Museveni to leave power-Mao

FILE PHOTO: Norbert Mao

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Democratic Party (DP) President, Norbert Mao has said that opposition parties must move away from writing petitions to President Museveni calling for his retirement.

Mao says opposition parties should instead devise other strategies which will make Museveni realize that his continued stay in power is dangerous for the country.

Speaking at a public dialogue on electoral reforms organized by Citizens Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda-CCEDU on Thursday at KCCA City Hall, Mao cited an example of Algerians who rejected their ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika not to contest for the 5th term.

Mao was reacting to several letters that CCEDU has written to Museveni reminding him to embrace and adopt electoral reforms that will promote free and fair elections.

In January CCEDU wrote to President Museveni reminding him that electoral reforms should be the government’s priority this year. But they have not received a response from the President.

“Your Excellency, 2019 is an important year in the context of preparing for the next general election according to the Electoral Commission’s strategic plan,” CCEDU appealed to Museveni.

“It is, therefore, our desire and that of many Ugandans that you, as the Fountain of Honour, champion laws and practices that guarantee a level playing field for electoral contestations in Uganda support the establishment of a binding code of conduct for political parties with sanctions; a defined framework for the integration of relevant technology in elections; continuous civic education for all citizens to understand their rights and responsibilities; as well as the rebuilding of public confidence in institutions that are charged with dispensing democracy and good governance.”

Mao further said that the opposition parties must start campaigning for issues affecting the electorate rather than offices or positions.

He said that opposition leaders tend to focus on who should be presidential candidate, leader of opposition and other offices given to them by government in Parliament.

Kampala Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago warned opposition groups to focus on practical solutions rather than mere conferences. For instance, he said that as NRM MPs meet in Kyankwazi, opposition parties should be proposing solutions.

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