News circulating in the media yesterday revealed that a proposed amendment of the constitution by a section of government is to see that the President gets elected by Members of Parliament rather than citizens.
The plan was unveiled by the Constitutional Review Commission, Attorney General Jackson Kafuuzi, who in an interview at a local radio station disclosed that the Government was in the process of lobbying funds for the nation-wide consultations from opinions that will inform the amendment.
James Onen, The Fatboy Show Presenter, opined that government critics might view this as a move by the Government to cling onto power and said that, “Isn't it convenient for a President to opt for this kind of leadership when they have the most MPs in Parliament given that they would obviously vote for him?”
He added that whereas no official statements have been made concerning the proposal, he holds suspicions that it might eventually come to pass with time.
In response, Olive Najjuma, The Fatboy Show Co-host, said that other former amendments also began as contemplations until they got scrapped of the constitution.
“In the past, we've had things that started as speculation such as scrapping presidential term limits and age limits. Before we knew it, the constitution was being amended. Right now, without term and age limits, don't be surprised if this too becomes a thing at some point,” she remarked.
Olive further said that the move might be workable in countries with an element of free democracy, unlike in Uganda.
“Even in countries where the system works such as Australia and the UK, citizens complain of being excluded from exercising their full participation in the electoral process because party members can vote for a president whom the populace don't like,” Fatboy added.
Since 1986, Uganda has been a constitutional democracy practicing the election of the President and MPs every five years, with President Museveni emerging winner for the 7 terms. Additionally, the highest number of party members belong to the National Resistance Movement (NRM).
If the proposed amendment succeeds, Uganda will join the other countries performing parliamentary democracy in which citizens vote for members of parliament who make presidential decisions on their behalf such as the U.K, Australia, Italy and Canada.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive, Sarah and Lesham every weekday from 6am to 10am on RX Radio.