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Thursday,October 24,2019 04:49 AM

Movt MPs divided on party ban

By Vision Reporter

Added 24th November 2000 03:00 AM

THE parliamentary Movement Caucus on Wednesday night failed to reach a consensus on the Cabinet proposals to bar parties from operating at the district level.

By Felix Osike THE parliamentary Movement Caucus on Wednesday night failed to reach a consensus on the Cabinet proposals to bar parties from operating at the district level. President Yoweri Museveni informed the caucus meeting at the International Conference Centre that the Movement historical members had endorsed the Cabinet proposal to allow parties to operate at national level only. "We had a disagreement as to whether to open up or continue with the restrictions," said a source who attended the meeting. Some caucus members wanted parties to be allowed to operate at district level. Sources said state minister for internal affairs Sarah Namusoke, public service minister Amanya Mushega and Zoe Bakoko Bakoru (Arua) said parties should not be pushed to the wall. Mushega reportedly warned against legislation which would benefit the present government only. But Obiga Kania (Terego) and other MPs reportedly said opening up parties would confuse the population. Museveni said all Ugandans, through a Constitutional Review Commission, would finally take a decision on parties. He reportedly said members of the National Executive Committee and the National Conference would take a position on the matter. Nkangi on November 15 informed the Caucus of the government position on the Political Organisations Bill. The Bill provides for the functioning and financing of political organisations. Political party activities have been restricted since 1986. The restrictions to be lifted include opening of branches at national level, holding delegates' conferences, national executive committee meetings and seminars. If the proposals are adopted by Parliament, parties would be allowed to raise funds but not from anti-State organisations. Besides they would be allowed to support candidates only on individual merit. Parties would also be allowed to run newspapers and operate radio stations. The caucus endorsed the Cabinet resolutions barring parties from holding public rallies, opening branches at lower levels and using party colours or insignias. Movement Caucus chairman Prof. Gilbert Bukenya said recently political parties should be allowed to operate at national and district levels but not village levels. Museveni recently reportedly said parties had no programmes. Ends.

Movt MPs divided on party ban

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