After series of back and forth meetings but without an agreement on how to proceed with the party’s electoral roadmap, members the National Resistance Movement (NRM) second top most policy organ, the Central Executive Committee (CEC) have agreed to back a proposal that gives the Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister to regulate the conduct of political party primaries.
The CEC met on Wednesday at the Entebbe State House for the sixth time in less than two weeks but still, failed to reach a consensus on how the party was to conduct its primaries without abusing the NRM constitution, and the Covid-19 restrictions that President Yoweri Museveni who is also the NRM chairman, issued to curtail the spread of Covid-19.
The Wednesday meeting came a day after a special cabinet sitting chaired Museveni approved new regulations for the conduct of political parties in accordance with the Covid-19 restrictions.
According to sources, the CEC members didscussed the possibility of extending the term of the current NRM structures for six months but discovered that it was untenable since such a decision required an amendment of the party’s constitution.
“It a long procedure which requires the meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) and the National Conference which we can’t hold without abusing the Covid-19 restrictions,” a source said.
“The shorter route is for the Minister [of Justice and Constitutional Affairs] Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu to issue a Statutory Instrument [SI] which will be binding to all political parties because an SI is superior to party constitutions,” the source added.
Rogers Mulindwa, NRM secretariat’s communications and public affairs manager confirmed in a statement on Wednesday that debate on the roadmap was differed because of the new cabinet proposal.
“CEC received information that cabinet had approved a Statutory Instrument spelling out how political parties will conduct their primaries in accordance with the Covid-19 preventive measures,” Mulindwa said.
Daily Monitor on Wednesday reported that the regulations that government drafted seek to regulate the conduct of political parties and align their activities with the Public Health Act.
Appearing before Parliament’s Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee where MPs asked him why government insists on going on with an election rather declaring a state of emergency, Prof. Kamuntu argued that country hasn’t reached a point that calls for such a declaration.
“Article 110 of the Constitution which relates to a state of emergency refers to external aggression and there is no external aggression against Uganda, it refers to internal insurgency and there is no insurgency in the country, it refers to a situation where there is virtually total breakdown. If there was a state of emergency even this parliament would not be sitting,” Kamuntu told the MPs.
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