By Vision Reporter
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has said all proposals for electoral reforms will be considered on their merit, calling on opposition groups to table theirs rather than go on a nationwide campaign trail.
Mbabazi denied media reports attributed to FDC activist Kizza Besigye that the two have met over the reforms. He was meeting with the European Union Head of Delegation in Uganda, Kristian Schmidt who called on him at his office.
Schmidt wanted to find out how far the Government had gone with the Public Finance Management Bill, the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) Bill and proposals for electoral reforms.
“We are in advanced stages of having the National Budget passed before the beginning of the financial year but there are a few issues still being sorted out by the relevant committee of Parliament,” Mbabazi said.
Both he and his guest castigated commercialisation of politics. Mbabazi who is also the NRM Secretary General said the party recently facilitated its MPs to popularise “the 22 Kyankwanzi resolutions” but many wrongly turned it into facilitation for their supporters.
On the NGO Bill, Mbabazi said it aimed to enhance accountability and transparency in the civil society because similar standards were provided for in the Public Finance Management Bill.
“We value NGOs because they are doing great work since they reach where Government has not yet but we dissuade those that come under the mast of NGOs with different intentions,” he said.
On electoral reforms that required constitutional amendments, he said some of them were proposed in 2009 but put on hold because they courted controversy and required wider consultation amidst a shortage of time.
Mbabazi said as the Chairman of the Constitutional Amendment Committee he had received more proposals, including some from the Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) and the Interparty Consultative Forum.
Schmidt said the opposition had some good ideas which should be accorded fair discussion in Parliament. He was accompanied by Thomas Millar, the first secretary and head of governance, trade and private sector development at the Delegation Office.