BY OUR WRITER
The coordinator Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) has challenged President Yoweri Museveni over the appointment of Justice Simon M. Byabakama as the chairman Electoral Commission.
In his detailed statement, Crispin Kaheru says that EC members are not yet appointed until successfully vetted by Parliament – under the current laws.
In verbatim the writer quotes. “I think what Ugandans will continue to ask themselves is how consultative and inclusive the process of appointing the EC was; given the sentiments around the inclusivity of the process that have been raised by different quotas.
Various key interest stakeholders – both state and non-state would have very much wanted to be part of the consultative processes, leading up to the identification of the new EC, albeit the current laws.
Some of the nominees have been in the public domain for a while now. We may want to give them an opportunity to rock this boat – the EC, possibly to the benefit and satisfaction of Uganda. However, we should not forget that the framework, within which they will work- if/when they are approved by Parliament, is not different from that within which Kiggundu and his team worked. We are therefore likely to see the new EC challenged by the same structural and institutional gaps that the past commission grappled with.
For us to clean the “stage” for them, there is need for comprehensive electoral reforms that civil society, political parties and all other stakeholders have called for, for quite a while now. What these reforms will do, is to strengthen the institutional framework of the EC to effectively deliver on its mandated without any form of pressures.
Only then will we be able to objectively assess their performance. As it is now, it might be merely, a case of putting new wine in old wineskins.”