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NRM leaders back constitution review

By Vision Reporter

Added 25th May 2009 03:00 AM

MOST of the NRM leaders want their party’s constitution amended to enable all members elect the flag-bearers in the 2011 general election.

MOST of the NRM leaders want their party’s constitution amended to enable all members elect the flag-bearers in the 2011 general election.

By Mary Karugaba and Catherine Bekunda

MOST of the NRM leaders want their party’s constitution amended to enable all members elect the flag-bearers in the 2011 general election.

This, they argued would eliminate the problem of independent candidates and bribery at primary election levels.

Currently, the NRM candidates are chosen by electoral colleges, but this has caused disputes in the party prompting some members to contest in national polls as independent candidates.

The majority of the party’s national executive committee (NEC) members yesterday expressed concern that if the system was not changed, more independent candidates would emerge, which is likely to weaken the party’s unity in 2011 general elections.

“Independents are a symptom of weak party loyalty. We should have a law to guide all parties to stop this issue of independents,” the disaster preparedness minister, Tarsis Kabwegyere, said.

Ministers Jennifer Namuyangu (water) and Margaret Mbeiza argued that changing to adult suffrage would make minimise voter bribing, which has been common with electoral collages.

“Few people can be bribed and swayed, but you can’t do this to the majority,” Mbeiza said.

The committee members were discussing the party’s proposed strategy for winning the 2011 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Defence state minister Jeje Odongo and Ibanda North MP Guma Gumisiriza argued that changing the constitution would be the only way to resolve the problem of independents.

Richard Waya, the Butaleja LC5 chairperson, said the move would minimise bickering in the party.

The NEC, the NRM’s second-highest decision-making organ, meets today at State House Entebbe to discuss the party’s political plan and road map.

By press time yesterday, more than 300 members, of the expected 540, had registered. Members yesterday had to bear the scorching sun waiting for their facilitation of sh250,000.

When it finally came at around 1:00pm, they rushed to line up to get the money, causing commotion at the serving desk.

Primary health care state minister James Kakooza vowed to raise the issue of the fourth term for President Yoweri Museveni even though it is not on the agenda.

However, other leaders opposed Kakooza’s move, saying it was not the right forum.

NRM leaders back constitution review

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