The Forum for Democratic Change has to account to its supporters as to why the party has no representatives in the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), a top party official has said. Augustine Ruzindana, the secretary for policy and research, says that if the Arusha-based East African Court of Justice does rule in their favour the whole process, including the EALA primary elections, would have become an academic exercise.
The Forum for Democratic Change has to account to its supporters as to why the party has no representatives in the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), a top party official has said.
FDC EALA candidates have been forced to wait for a ruling by the East African Court of Justice after they sought for an interim injunction on the EALA elections which they say went on in total disregard of the East African Treaty.
The ruling National Resistance Movement, the Democratic Party, Uganda People’s Congress and Independents already have candidates in Arusha who filled up the nine slots allocated to Uganda. The nine representatives are to be sworn in later today to start their five-year term. They include Dora Byamukama and Margaret Zziwa, who are also contesting for the position of EALA Speaker. The others are Dan Kidega, Nusura Tiperu, Bernard Mulengani, Mike Ssebalu, Denis Mukasa Mbidde, Chris Opoka and Susan Nakawuki.
But in an exclusive interview with Uganda Radio Network, Augustine Ruzindana the FDC secretary for research says the EALA elections became problematic because it had taken a long time to take place.
He argues that the matter should not be on why him as an individual is not in Arusha right now but why the party does not have a representative.
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Last week during the FDC primary elections for EALA candidates, the process ended in chaos with party supporters threatening to beat up some leaders. The main wrangle was between Salaamu Musumba, the Deputy President and Anita Among, who is the deputy party treasurer.
Ruzindana says the chaos was as result of some candidates who had campaigned for a long time yet the electorate only consisted of 122 members.
Without mentioning names, Ruzindana said voters were harangued and disturbed when candidates and their supporters used the media to decampaign each other yet it was a small matter.
He laments that the EALA primaries were made much bigger than it was necessary. Ruzindana adds that if the Arusha ruling is not in their favour the whole process would have become an academic exercise.
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Ruzindana however notes that this does not mean there is a rift in the party since the disagreement arose from who is the better candidate and not anything substantial.
Ruzindana, who together with Anita Among won the FDC EALA primaries, argues that it is the NRM to blame for FDC’s failure to field candidates due to its manipulative tactics.
Ruzindana says it was wrong for the NRM to use its caucus to decide how many candidates should be fielded by each party.
This was against the legal advice from the regional court in Arusha to the effect that the representation must reflect the political shades in our national Parliament. They were also cognizant of articles of the EAC Treaty that demand inclusiveness in political representation.
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