The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has said it will defy the guidelines proposed by the government for all political parties to follow while conducting its internal elections for flagbearers in the 2021 elections.
Last week, government proposed to political parties not to hold delegates conferences, which attract big gatherings, to make major policy decisions, including electing national leaders and presidential flag bearers.
Prof Ephraim Kamuntu, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, while tabling the regulations in Parliament, said the objective was to safeguard the health of participants.
However, addressing a press conference at their headquarters in Najjanankumbi yesterday, Mr Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, the FDC party spokesperson, said even if the government proposals are approved by Parliament, they would reject them.
“We reject the government proposed regulations to govern political parties’ internal elections during Covid 19 period.
They want us to conduct virtual meetings, generate resolutions through signing of papers and to use unauthorised organs of parties to handpick flagbearers. This is not acceptable,” Mr Ssemujju said.
He said FDC will follow the procedures and processes of candidate identification and selection that are laid down in their party constitution.
“We will not learn NRM bad manners. We have been informed that these regulations are solely to benefit the NRM which manipulated its Constitution recently to provide for lining up behind candidates and are now stuck because of Covid-19.
The NRM wants to return to electoral college [system] and secret ballot which they selfishly removed from their constitution,” Mr Ssemujju said.
Government also wants the regulations to enable political parties or organisations to elect leaders and sponsor candidates for nomination for the General Election within the limitations imposed by the Public Health Act and the rules made therein for the control of infectious diseases.
Mr Augustine Ojobile, the secretary of the FDC electoral commission, said they will ask party members to express interest in various positions after which they are nominated and vetted by the party.
Mr Ojobile said in instances where there are more than two candidates for the same position, the party holds primaries using electoral colleges for parliamentary, mayoral and other elective positions apart from the presidential seat.
He said for presidential flagbearers, the party will hold a delegates conference, which is usually conducted at Namboole National Stadium to elect its candidate.
Mr Ojobile reiterated that FDC will continue with their internal procedures.
Last week, the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, referred the guidelines to the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to scrutinise them and report to the House within a week.