Uganda Peoples Congress

Uganda Peoples Congress
National Secretariat
Party Headquarters, Uganda House,
Plot 8-10 Kampala Road, P. O. Box 9206, Kampala

Reforming the Electoral system in Uganda

Demand For Urgent Reforms In Our Electoral System And Processes

Press Release

16 Apr 2007

(Embargoed for release at 11.00am 16th APRIL, 2007)

  1. The Uganda Peoples Congress condemns in the strongest term the recent violence, arbitrary arrest and detention that marred the Kamuli LCV Elections. The events that took place in Kamuli was a replay of the 2006 elections and a big flash back of 2001 elections where Kakooza Mutale Kalangala Action Plan was very active in torturing civilians who were exercising their democratic rights. UPC notes that, this group has now been officially replaced by Uganda Police Force, Presidential Guard Brigade and other paramilitary militia who descended on the civilians in Kamuli during the elections.
  2. Immediately after the 2006 presidential and parliamentary elections, and in subsequent policy statements, UPC demanded for reforms in our electoral system and processes. Though our call was not heeded, we are renewing the same demands in the aftermath of the Kamuli and in future elections in this country.
  3. UPC is calling for reforms in our electoral system so that the institutions who are supposed to manage and conduct the elections are not only independent but are also seen to be independent of executive arm of government especially the Presidency and left to do their work within a legal framework which is certain. President Museveni's orders now supersede these institutions. This is not only limited to the Electoral Commission but also extends to Inspectorate of Government where the President commissions an investigation into corruption and after the IGG has completed her work, she runs to the president to beg for permission whether to prosecute Muhwezi or not. This misuse and usurpation of power of constitutionally mandated institution by President Museveni is undermining the building and strengthening of these institutions and democratization process generally.
  4. The Operation of multiparty politics was put into jeopardy during the Kamuli elections as the government state security operatives intensified the arrest and detention of several oppositon campaigners and poll watchers. UPC contends that there is no law that bars members of any political party from any part of Uganda from campaigning for their candidates in any district within the Republic of Uganda.If such a law was in existence, then President Museveni would not have camped in Kamuli for one week campaigning for NRM candidate yet his origin is not from Kamuli District.The repressive measures adopted by the Police and NRM functonaries must stop, if not, it will ignite anti-government backlash all over the country.
  5. These harsh and repressive measures adopted by the NRM government combined with the highly charged political atmosphere is not conducive for foreign investments.Investors normally prefer democratic,stable and peacful countries whose elections are not marred by violence and repression.
  6. The Uganda Peoples Congress calls upon the government to urgently
  7. Institute legal reforms by amending all the electoral laws before the by elections that are due to be held and bring them in conformity with the new multiparty dispensation. Revisit the Police Act, Terrorism Act and other laws that impede leveling election field and holding of free and fair elections.
  8. Put in place the necessary administrative framework that can facilitate continuous training of state actors in the electoral process and voters education till 2011 general elections.
  9. genuinely allow multiparty politics to take root in our politics by not harassing and arbitrarily arresting opposition members who are exercising their democratic rights in support of their candidates and political parties during elections.
  10. Work closely with international community, political parties and civil society which is interested in seeing the electoral reforms to expedite the process.

For God and my Country

Miria Kalule Obote