A group of ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party cadres pushing for electoral reforms where the Head of State would be selected by the majority party in Parliament have insisted that they’re not anyone’s project but are pushing a common man’s agenda..
Describing themselves as Transformer Cadres Association Uganda with Felix Adupa Ongwech who lost in the Kioga County MP election as the president, the group told journalists on Thursday that they have prepared several proposals that they want to present to the NRM national chairman for consideration.
“We have a proposal to amend electoral laws and other legislation to pave way for a hybrid parliamentary system where the head of government who also doubles as the head of state is elected by parliament and local government councils,” Adupa told journalists.
“We propose the creation of a Senate or Upper House in parliament. Members of the senate of Upper House will be nominated by political organization parties with representation in parliament. Representation in Senate will be according to strength of parties in the lower house. This is intended to rise the quality of debate in as far as legislation is concerned.”
The group told journalists that such a proposal would help reduce issues like the huge budgetary sums injected into elections by government every five years.
“We are stakeholders with a stake in the country. The constitution allows us to have views and present them for consideration.”
Asked who is behind the project, the group insisted they are not serving interests of anyone but rather representing many other citizens who have the same thinking as them.
“It is no longer business as usual. It is not only for our benefit but the benefit of many other Ugandans out there. There are many other patriotic Ugandans with capability of leading this country but have been locked out. This system will ensure the best person leads us,” Adupa said.
“We are concerned of how things are done badly in this country. We want to see parliament begin electing the country’s president. We are not anyone’s project as you accuse us.”
Many have said that the move could have been mooted to benefit president Yoweri Museveni but when put to task to explain, the NRM MP losers dismissed it as not true.
“Let us stop being selfish. President Museveni must not be behind everything for it to be discussed. No one is pushing us.”
Asked to explain whether if successful, the move will not take away the constitutional right of Ugandans to vote for the president, the group insisted that by parliament and local councils electing, they will be representing Ugandans.
“We haven’t removed the people’s right to vote. Ugandans vote for MPs and local councils who vote for the president. The right to vote will still remain with Ugandans because they will be voting for MPs and local council leaders.”
“If it needs a referendum, we shall push for it. It is our responsibility to talk about everything.”
Last week, opposition Justice Forum (JEEMA) party said they would soon be pushing for a proportional representation system of government in Uganda in which people vote for parties and not individual candidates as Members of Parliament.