This follows preliminary findings of a new appraisal of the 2011 polls showing that change of government is unlikely to occur through elections in the current political environment.
Opposition political parties insist Uganda can still see a change of government through free and fair elections once constitutional reforms are carried out. This follows preliminary findings of a new appraisal of the 2011 polls showing that change of government is unlikely to occur through elections in the current political environment.
The research was carried out by academics from the Political Science department of Makerere University and the French Institute for research and development. The researchers noted that the 2011 post-election violence reflected public dissatisfaction with Uganda’s electoral processes. The report adds that elections have become a ritual whose democracy is associated with the use of finances to rent loyalty.
But Toterebuka Bamwenda, the Deputy spokesman Forum for Democratic change says Ugandans need to know that it is possible to use a non violent approach other than use of force. He however, notes the need to restore confidence amongst citizens in the electoral system. Bamwenda says government needs to set up an impartial Electoral commission to hold free and fair elections.
Asumani Basalirwa, the president Justice Forum says the report is alarmist and is intended to demoralize Ugandans. Basalirwa is convinced that it is possible to have regime change once Ugandans choose and have the self assurance that they can change the regime. He says an election is stolen if people are not vigilant, but no amount of money and guns can stop a determined community to get what they want.
The JEEMA President says the research findings are just an addition to previous data that there is intimidation and bribery and the fact that voters’ are not driven by real issues. However, Joseph Bossa the Vice President Uganda People’s Congress disagrees with FDC and JEEMA saying the findings are an eye opener for Ugandans who lashed at their party President Olara Otunnu for boycotting the 2011 polls.
Otunnu shunned the elections claiming that the 2011 general elections were not free and fair. Bossa says there is no way one can change the current government with its current Electoral Commission structure. He reiterates that one can only change government through free and fair elections which cannot be achieved now.
The assessment report also observes that the 2011 elections gave a false impression of the ruling National Resistance Movement’s political strength and legitimacy amongst the Ugandan electorate. Charles Ochola, the Electoral commission spokesperson describes the report findings are premature saying that Uganda’s democracy is still very young. He says the country cannot be judged by only one government in power which has not been thrown out through an elective process.
toterebuka bamwenda the forum for democratic change deputy spokesperson
jeema president asumani basalirwa
joseph bossa the vice president uganda people’s congress
charles ochola the electoral commission spokesperson
guns and ballot box