As the current electoral commission term is ending in November this year, the Democratic party has implored the government to reform the system of the appointment of the new commission as a tool to get free and fair elections Countrywide.
The call has made by Mathias Nsubuga Birekerawo DP general secretary during the launch of a survey of Members of the 10th Parliament attitudes to electoral reforms conducted on telephone between September 16th and October 7th this year by citizens citizens coalition for electoral democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) in partnership with national Democratic institution (NDI).
Nsubuga says the current system of appointing electoral commission bosses is not favourable to opposition because it gives the president much power thus calling for reforms to follow a process of open application, public scrutiny by an independent body, parliamentary vetting and, finally presidential approval. According to Dr Livingston Ssewanyana chairperson CCEDU, they wrote a letter to the ruling NRM party general secretary Justine Lumumba Kasule demanding for reforms in appointing electoral commission bosses adding that during a survey MPs from NRM, oppositions and independents were asked whether they would support to lift presidential age limit or not and reforms in appointing electoral commission bosses. He notes that 73% didn’t agree to support a constitutional amendment eliminating age limits for presidential candidates, where by 65% of NRM didn’t agree and 35% agreed, 97% of opposition mps didn’t agree and 3%agreed, and 81% of independent didn’t agree and 19 agreed, in Eastern region 30% agreed, 70% disagreed, northern 33% agreed, 67% disagreed, western 21% agreed, 79% disagreed and central region 22%agreed 78%disagreed. Meanwhile 21% of NRM MPs disagreed reforms in appointing electoral commission bosses, 13% of independent also disagreed and 0% of opposition disagreed, and 93% of opposition Mps agreed to reforms in appointing electoral commissioners, 55% of NRM also agreed and 69% of independent agreed reforms. In the same vein,in eastern region 21% agreed with the current system, followed by northern and western with 14% and central with 17%, while those who want reforms in appointing electoral commission bosses, in northern region is the leading with 68%, eastern with 64%, central with 61% and western with 56%