KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Government Chief Whip, Mr. Thomas Tayebwa has coke out to clarify that as the ruling National Resistance Movement – NRM, they have not yet received the proposal bill that allows only MPs elect the President of Uganda.
The proposed constitution amendment that could see Uganda’s political stature change to a Parliamentary system would mean that presidential elections would henceforth no longer be for all Ugandans but for the political party with the majority of the MPs.
Reacting to this move on Thursday, Tayebwa stated that Ugandans must appreciate the proposed system that is widely used in democratic governance overseas but was quick to state that the bill is yet to be brought to table in the NRM caucus.
“We must appreciate that the proposed system is one of the known political systems practised by successful democracies like Great Britain, Italy, Canada,” said Tayebwa.
The Government Chief Whip assured the country that when the proposal comes up, full consultations would be made with stakeholders.
In a related development, while appearing on a local radio station CBS FM, Jackson Karugaba Kafuuzi, the Deputy Attorney General revealed that the Constitution Review Commission is set to start countrywide consultation in an attempt to gather public opinions about the proposed bill.
This however has sparked off rage from the public especially from the opposition labeling the ‘scheme’ as an intended move to deny the people of Uganda a chance to vote for their President.
In Uganda, the President is elected by citizens who are above 18 years of age and are registered by the Electoral Commission (EC). EC is a constitutionally established organ of the Government of Uganda, whose mandate is to “organize and conduct regular, free and fair elections” in the country, in an efficient, professional, and impartial manner.
Over the years, Parliament has been amending the Presidential Election Act.
Uganda previously had a constitutional limit in place, allowing a maximum term of office of ten years (two five-year terms), until 2005, when the limit was eliminated by a constitutional amendment.
On December 20, 2017, Parliament passed an amendment to the Constitution that eliminate the requirement that candidates vying for the presidency be under 75 years of age.