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Tuesday,September 22,2020 18:45 PM

MIDWEEK OPINION <em>with John Kakande</em>

By Vision Reporter

Added 13th May 2003 03:00 AM

LAST week, I contended that the Movement political system as envisaged by Article 70 of the Constitution, has ceased to exist and that the Constitutional Court, by default or design, had ushered in a fully-fledged Multiparty system.

LAST week, I contended that the Movement political system as envisaged by Article 70 of the Constitution, has ceased to exist and that the Constitutional Court, by default or design, had ushered in a fully-fledged Multiparty system.

Principle of individual merit was
nullified by Court ruling on parties

LAST week, I contended that the Movement political system as envisaged by Article 70 of the Constitution, has ceased to exist and that the Constitutional Court, by default or design, had ushered in a fully-fledged Multiparty system.
I further argued that it was not necessary to organise a referendum to change the political system. The basis for my argument was the Attorney General Francis Ayume’s pronouncement, following the Court ruling, that Parties are free to operate including fielding candidates in the presidential and parliamentary elections.
My colleague, Paul Waibale Sr. argued in his column, that the verdict of the Court did not change the political system and that holding a referendum was inevitable. Waibale contended that removal of the Party restrictions had not changed the system.
It is important that I respond to the points Waibale raised. Both of us agree that the Movement political system and the multiparty system cannot exist concurrently. We also agree that the court verdict ended the Party restrictions entirely. However, Waibale contends that although Parties can now operate unfettered, the Movement system still remains in existence.
My view is that the Movement system ‘withered away,’ due to certain political actions of the Movement leaders. It was not the Constitutional Court that changed the political system. The Court only affirmed that the Party restrictions were unconstitutional and untenable. The Court also affirmed that what exists today is not a Movement system, but a political organisation. The fact that no political party or organisation has registered is irrelevant.
Waibale chose not to refer to Article 70, yet it is this article which spells out the ‘Movement political system’. Among other things, Article 70 (1) provides: “The Movement political system is broad based, inclusive and non-partisan and shall conform to the following principles — (d) individual merit as a basis for election to political offices.”
Thus the principle of ‘individual merit’ has been the hallmark of the Movement system. Now that candidates can freely contest presidential, parliamentary or local government elections on UPC, DP, CP or UPM tickets and sponsorship, it logically follows that the Movement system as envisaged by Article 70 is inoperative. The Court’s declaration that the Movement is not a system, but a body with all the features of a political organisation, has reinforced my standpoint. As an organisation, the Movement must now register and subject itself to the Political Parties and Organisations Act, 2002.
Consequently, the Movement secretariat has to cease being a department of the government. Ends

MIDWEEK OPINION <em>with John Kakande</em>

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