Government rejects push to defer 2016 elections
Government has in a hard-hitting response to agitation for “meaningful” electoral and constitutional reforms laughed off a suggestion to defer the 2016 polls calling it a cover up by the Opposition for its “dwindling ratings.”
In a five-page statement to Daily Monitor, the Minister for Presidency, Mr Frank Tumwebaze, accused the Opposition of using street protests to divert attention from the inevitable defeat in 2016 “after failure to win new political ground”.
“A small section of the Opposition has resorted to their old (and failed) tricks of trying to cause unrest in the city centre under the false hope that they can derail the election process,” Mr Tumwebaze said.
The Former Forum for Democratic Change president, Dr Kizza Besigye, had last week called for suspension of the 2016 elections to create enough time for the proposed electoral reforms yet to be discussed and passed by Parliament. Mr Tumwebaze said the Constitutional Amendments Bill presented by government ignored Opposition proposals because they are on “constitutional issues far bigger beyond elections”.
The minister described government proposals, which a fortnight ago MPs termed as ‘shallow’ as “not many and specific to elections”.
“I don’t see much in what they are trying to cure by that singular proposal on the independence of the electoral commission. The government proposal makes the appointment of the commission a shared responsibility and not solely for the president– meaning that any nominee of questionable integrity or impartiality can be rejected by Parliament,” Mr Tumwebaze said.
While Dr Besigye was not available for comment, in response to Mr Tumwebaze, Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago said: “That kind of flippant attitude and arrogance exuded by the likes of Tumwebaze will inevitably drive this country back to doldrums.”