Opinion: Will the NRM and their MPs drop the advice of the Odoki Report?

Ugandans power to vote won’t be taken away by indirect voting. We are saying vote the right Member of Parliament who will vote for the right President. The reform is not for Museveni. It is for all Ugandans. We are the citizens of Uganda thinking for Uganda. If you are popular as a party, send us more Members in the Parliament. In Parliament, things are clear, the strength of your political party in Parliament will be your vote for Presidency. We are spending a lot of money on elections. Let that money be sent back to strengthen the party at grassroots level. We are not a Muhoozi project. Muhoozi is a serving officer in the UPDF and cannot engage in politics”Felix Adupa President Transformer Cadres Association of NRM” (NBS Television, 06.01.2022).

We know there is a cause to take away the popular vote and the universal suffrage as a method of voting in the President in the Republic. This is a clear intention of changing the Constitution and Presidential Elections Act. As the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and President Museveni is gearing up for another constitutional amendment to fit his narrative.

That is very clear, just anyone else done in the past. Now, the President doesn’t want to participate in the general election or be on the ballot. Instead, his selected peers of the Parliament will vote him in. That is the initial trick here.

Here is the recommendation from the Odoki Commission Report, which was made with the initial draft constitution in the 1990s. Where there was certain legal thoughts and ideals, which should be relevant in 2022 or any other year.

Just take a look!

Excessive concentration of power in the executive:

28.27 People agreed almost unanimously that the 1967 Constitution had concentrated far too much power in the hands of the executive arm of government, and in particular in the President. There were no other institutions which could effectively check on executive and presidential power. As a result, those exercising such power had little concern constitutional limits, and tended to feel free to set aside the Constitution or parts of the Constitution which did not suit their interests” (Odoki Report, 1992).

78. Method of Voting

(a) Voting in presidential, parliamentary and district council elections as well as referenda,

should be by secret ballot.

(b) The electoral law should require that the same ballot box is used for all candidates in a

constituency. The box should be placed in the open rather than a closed booth.

(c) There should be clear symbols and/or photographs against each candidate’s name to

assist illiterate voters.(10.143)” (Odoki Report, 1992).

We are seeing the problems of past getting back into order. If the NRM and President are willing to risk everything for one man. The NRM has been risking that twice already and now they will not even make charades of elections, which it has done since 1996.

The President trying to avoid the problems of lack of integrity and legitimacy, as the elections are made and prepared for him to “win”. That is what people know and it’s evident by how they are run by the state. The same about the gerrymandering, the blocking of opposition parties and ensuring several of unopposed candidates across the Republic. In such a fashion, that the NRM will gain a majority no matter what and the President got “yes-men” in the Parliament. The game is rigged and the opposition only gets a small token or parts of the political landscape.

We are clearly seeing that the Odoki Commission is vouching for what the people wants and have a representative democracy. Not having a council sort of system, which is having the President elected in Parliament. Yes, the Local Government and Parliament will be elected by secret ballot still… while the Head of State is hand-picked by a few merry men and woman in the National Assembly. That’s ditching democratic ideals and the trust in the will of the people.

Yes, the rigged elections of January 2021 or any other year isn’t changing things, but it is much harder to cheat the whole system and trick the results in as they do. It is also adding additional stress on a man who is in advanced age. This is changing the laws to fit him again and his pigeon holing his own Constitution for his benefit. Which is the power the Odoki Commission warned us all about and now it is happening right in front of our eyes. Peace.

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