NRM plotting to change presidential election process – Opposition

NRM plotting to change presidential election process – Opposition
The Opposition at a press conference. Aol (middle) flanked by Ssemuju and Nambooze. COURTESY PHOTO

The Opposition in Parliament has accused the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Party of plotting to amend the constitution to provide for the election of the president through the Electoral College system.

Mukono Municipality MP Betty Nambooze says they have received reports that members of the ruling party are scheming for a constitutional amendment suggesting that the president should be elected through the Electoral College as opposed to the Adult Suffrage system which has been used over the years.

Nambooze said that under the plot, the NRM wants to suggest that the party with the highest number of legislators will automatically assume the presidency, and choose a leader from among its members, to take over the presidency, as the case is in countries like South Africa.

This would imply that Ugandans will not be able to participate in the election of the president, but the powers will be vested in a small caucus of the party that will have more legislators. Nambooze made the revelation during a press conference addressed alongside the Leader of Opposition Betty Aol Ochan, and the Opposition Whip Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda.

The legislators say that the move is being spearheaded by Bunyole West MP James Waluswaka and that the matter will be discussed during a retreat of the National Resistance Movement Caucus due to take place in Kyankwanzi, next month.

But Waluswaka has denied knowledge of the proposal, which he, however, defines as good for the country. He says that by following such a procedure, the government will be saving billions of shillings spent on presidential elections.

Kassanda South MP Simeo Nsubuga also dismissed the opposition speculation as unfounded.

Last year, Parliament passed the constitutional amendment bill 2018 that saw the of the presidential age limit from the constitution. The talk of the amendment also started as an informal suggestion among individual MPs but was later approved by the NRM Caucus.