The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has put on hold its internal elections and extended the current term of its leaders until after next year’s general election.
According to the party’s spokesman, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, the FDC National Executive Committee (NEC) took the decision about two weeks ago on behalf of the National Council.
“National council has powers to extend the party leadership’s term of office, and this decision had taken long before the Covid-19 outbreak because they realized that we were close to the general election and couldn’t therefore hold internal elections at the same time,” Ssemujju said.
Ssemujju says that the party leaders considered the prevailing circumstances in the country that can’t allow the elections to be conducted as required by their party constitution. The party was due to change leaders this July.
“We extended the current term of FDC leaders. We will hold internal elections after the general elections because it was not possible under the current restrictions to organize elections and also be looking for candidates,” Ssemujju said.
This does however not affect the processes to choose candidates that will hold the party flag at next year’s general elections.
“We have sequenced these exercises to take us through July and August. FDC’s internal program is not affected by any other program. In some constituencies you have about 300 people who make up the Electoral College, those will have to physically assemble. There is no any other way. We shall not have elections on phone or circulate papers like the NRM is saying,” he said.
In the revised Electoral Commission roadmap, parties are prohibited to carry out open-air campaigns as a means to control the spread of the Covid-19.
In line with the standing regulations by the ministry of health, the Electoral Commission said gathering people in normal campaign rallies has been replaced by virtual campaigns where candidates use the media.
All but a few opposition political parties have rejected this arrangement arguing that it will disfranchise a lot of people who have no access to media platforms.
Ssemujju said that the party equally rejects the guidelines that were recently presented before Parliament by the Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu, that allows the National Executive Committees of political parties to make decisions including selecting candidates to vie for political offices.