The Interparty Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) second summit meeting on Monday 20, May 2019 sitting at Protea Hotel in Entebbe resolved to among other things increase government funding to political parties with representation in Parliament from Shs 10bn to Shs 35bn with effect from the next financial year.
The meeting that convened late in the evening was comprised of the IPOD Summit Chairperson and DP President, Norbert Mao, JEEMA’s Ag Party President Mohammed Kibirige Mayanja, UPC’s Jimmy Akena and NRM’s National Chairman, Yoweri Museveni among other government officials and IPOD Secretaries general.
The decisions taken were on four major issues which included; Public funding for Political Parties, regulations of Public Management Act (POMA), Independent political actors/candidates in multi-party political system, electoral reforms and Institutionalisation of IPOD.
A joint communiqué was later presented to the media by the IPOD Summit Chairman, Norbert Mao.
According to the communiqué, heads of political parties with representation in Parliament agreed that government shall increase funding to political parties and IPOD from Shs 10bn to Shs 35bn as well as a change in the sharing pattern.
“It has been agreed that all parties in Parliament get an equal share for running offices of the same strength from the headquarters up to the district level. 15% for IPOD and the rest based on numerical strength,” reads the communiqué in part.
It was also agreed that the amount that goes to the Leader of Opposition shall be allocated 40 percent equally and 60 percent committed based on numeric strength.
On the Public Order and Management Act, the Summit resolved that the draft POMA regulations proposed by the Council of Secretaries general in concert with the Attorney General and the Prime Minister be studied by the National Security Council team and give feedback to the IPOD enacted within two months.
“We also agreed that the Prime Minister who is also the chair of the National Consultative Forum consults with IPOD on the finalization of the code of conduct currently under the Attorney General’s office for political actors/ leaders in the implementation of POMA,” Mao said.
On the contentious issue of Independent political actors, the summit adopted the draft bill on the regulation of independents as proposed by the National Consultative Forum with such amendments as have been proposed by the IPOD council of Secretaries General.
“The amendments include a requirement for a certificate of resignation of an individual from a political party 12 months prior to general elections and that once elections are lost in the party primaries, such an individual shall not take part in the general elections,” Mao noted.
Regarding electoral reforms, the summit agreed that candidates sponsored by parties shall not be required to collect signatures from the electoral areas for representation.
A review of the nomination fees be made to make the vying for political offices more affordable and inclusive.
“IPOD shall determine the threshold of the amount refunded to the candidates in case such a candidate loses elections,” the communiqué further read.