The Opposition legilators in Parliament have revealed that they are Wednesday set to introduce all the necessary Bills required to make reforms and facilitate free and fair elections ahead of the 2021 Presidential polls.
The revelation was made Wednesday by the Leader of Opposition in Parliament (LOP), Betty Aol Ochan during a press conference. Ochan briefed reporters together with the opposition chief whip, Ibrahim Semujju Nganda and Mukono Municipality MP, Betty Nambooze Bakireke.
The opposition leaders said that their decision follows the laxity and the lack of willingness by government to introduce the necessary reforms despite the directive by the Supreme Court after the Presidential petition filed by former Presidential candidate, Amama Mbabazi in 2016.
On Tuesday, the Minister for Justice and Constitution Affairs, Gen Kahinda Otaffire requested Parliament to allow him a period of six months to report back on the proposed reforms. Otafiire said the Executive is still waiting for the outcome in the case against the Age Limit Amendment Bill currently before the Supreme Court.
However, the Minister’s request was rejected by the legislators, prompting the Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga to rule ordering the Otafiire to present the Electoral Reforms in April.
Now, the opposition through Ndorwa East MP, Wilfred Niwagaba has put the Speaker on notice saying they will introduce a Private Members Bill with ten proposed electoral reforms.
Among the proposed reforms lined by opposition includes; introduction of a federal government, reinstating and entrenching Presidential term limits, having a lean Cabinet of only 21 Ministers and their Junior Ministers.
The other proposed reform is the creation of the Speaker’s pannel whose role will be to advise the Speaker’s office and preside over Parliament in case the Speaker and Deputy are not present.
The opposition also wants the Deputy President as a running mate to the President in elections as well as an independent Electoral Commission among others.
Betty Ochan said that as opposition, they can not sit back and fold their arms as the current Electoral Commission prepares for another “sham” election.
“The reason the NRM has refused to present the reforms as ordered by the Supreme Court is because many of them are beneficiaries of rigged elections. We take note that some of the NRM leaders are also victims of fraud elections.” Ochan said.
She added that, “The country is aware that Presidential nominations will be conducted around August next year 2020 and this means that we no longer have the two years that the Supreme Court recommended”.