Democratic Party Protests New EC Commissioners
Opposition Democratic Party has petitioned the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, calling on the August House to stay the vetting of newly nominated members of the Electoral Commission.
DP President, Norbert Mao, in his petition presented to the Speaker on November 24, 2016, at Parliament, stating that the recent action by President Yoweri Museveni to appoint a new EC is in bad faith and leaves a bad taste in the mouth of proponents of key electoral reforms, including the change in appointment of EC commissioners.
In his petition, Mao stated that following a meeting between the Inter Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) council, a forum which brings together political parties represented in Parliament, and President Museveni in July this year, it was agreed that another follow up meeting to discuss the procedure for appointment of EC be held in August.
However, Mao said they were shocked to learn that the appointments were made without their input; an act which he says will undermine the spirit of IPOD.
“We believe that what the President has done amounts to bad faith and undermines the spirit of dialogue,” Mao stated. Mao was accompanied by DP officials including Matthias Nsubuga, Secretary General of the party and Bukoto East MP, Florence Namayanja.
Six commissioners were appointed last week by President Museveni and they include Simon Byabakama as chairperson, Hajati Aisha Lubega as deputy chairperson, Stephen Tashobya, Prof. George Piwang, Ssebagala Kigozi and Emorut Peter as commissioners.
Mao asked Kadaga to use her position as chairperson of the Appointing Authority, which vets the nominees, to impress upon the President over his decision.
“This is an issue that is going to frustrate political actors in this country and the people in this country may be forced to use unconventional methods due to the mistrust of the EC,” Mao warned. The Speaker is reported to have promised to forward their views to the President.
The DP members also met the Leader of Opposition, Winnie Kiiza, who promised to also push for their petition to be discussed in Parliament.