Their decision now awaits final approval by the party’s national conference, their topmost decision-making organ
The National Resistance Movement (NRM) decision making organs have concluded a months-long proposal to amend their constitution in a bid to tighten electoral transparency and cut costs that tag along with internal elections.
Since Thursday, the party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) and the National Executive Council (NEC) have been engulfed in back-to-back meetings in which they agreed to alter Art39(10)e of their constitution in favour of lining up behind preferred candidates.
They unanimously agreed that scrapping the secret ballot will go a long way in ensuring electoral transparency and cutting on expenditure.
Their decision now awaits final approval by the party’s national conference, their topmost decision-making organ slated to meet on Saturday at Mandela National Stadium in Namboole.
During the NEC meeting at State House in Entebbe, President Yoweri Museveni told members that CEC had agreed to the proposal albeit descending voices.
Museveni who doubles as national chairman of the party reasoned that the proposal was aimed at abetting transparency and cutting the cost of internal elections.
“People treat politics as a career so the process becomes a matter of life and death. Originally, we had electoral colleges but delegates were being bribed, we then went for a mini general election but sustaining it logistically is too much for a political party yet it doesn’t solve the issue of transparency,” he said.
He added that although those opposed to the amendment had argued that lining up during elections would breed domestic violence and political rivalry in communities, “the medicine for cheating has side effects but when you weigh this, even in the secret ballot people openly take sides so the question is what the majority of the members prefer.”
The motion to amend the NRM constitution was subsequently moved by the NRM deputy secretary-general, Richard Todwong and seconded by former Bukoto West MP, Mulindwa Bilimumaso.
“Amendment provides for more transparent and democratic elections in the NRM which will also put confidence in the system of electing leaders. An election registrar gets Sh5000 as allowance but they can easily be bribed off so lining up will eliminate influence peddling, reduce the cost of elections and curtail the raise of independents that are born out of rigging elections,” said Mulindwa.
However, Ngora district woman MP, Jacquiline Amongin argued that whereas lining up is fronted as an effective system, it will curtail gender participation especially on the women that might fear the violence and intimidation that could be involved in the process, however, her attempt to block the amendment was foiled.