By Saudha Nakandha and Agnes Nantambi
EAST African political parties have called for a referendum on the proposed political federation.
This was one of the recommendations from the regional consultative meeting of over 158 political parties in the East African region held on Saturday in Nairobi.
Addressing journalists about the outcomes of the Nairobi meeting, NRM deputy secretary general Dorothy Hyuha noted that a referendum would ensure that people at the grass roots were involved in the federation process.
Hyuha was speaking at the NRM party headquarters in Kampala.
â€œThe move would give a firm foundation for the East African political federation and give the people a sense of ownership,â€ she said.
Hyuha added that the NRM stood by the unanimous position from other participating countries as opposed to singling out term limits and representation of the army in Parliament as the opposition parties from Uganda had demanded.
Recently the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, suggested that a referendum be held on the East African political federation, arguing that the citizens needed to be engaged in the process.
Political federation or power sharing is the last stage of the East African integration process.
The proposal to fast-track the political federation had earlier been rejected by some countries, especially Tanzania as others expressed fears over the loss of sovereignty and land.
The parties also called for an establishment of an independent East African electoral commission and widening the jurisdiction of the East African court of justice to include election cases, among others. Raila Odinga, the Kenyan prime minister, officiated at the meeting. Uganda was represented by 14 political parties.