East African Legislative Assembly elections an eye opener for Uganda

If anything, the inter-political-party and intra-political-party tensions that are at the peak here in Uganda with regards to the elections for representatives to the East African Legislative Assembly  (EALA) should worry most of us.

No doubt, our motherland, Uganda, is divided on multiple fronts. That we cannot come together to agree on who the best representatives shall be from all the political shades of our Country who can represent our Country’s interests at a regional forum cannot be but worrying.

Moreover, there was such a formula that was tabled for consideration, one that would have demanded that each of the major political parties is represented with the very best from their respective parties.

There was a suggestion, reportedly, that each of the four political parties in the house – National Resistance Movement Organisation (NRM), Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) and Democratic Party (DP) are allocated one of the nine slots. Then the remaining five slots would be opened up to bi-partisan competition in a situation that would we see the Parliament of Uganda vet candidates not on party lines but for quality – value for money.

But, instead, it is reported, that the ruling party – NRM – has asserted its numeric strength and has declared that it will take up six of the nine available slots. The official opposition party – FDC – has followed suit and has also asserted its 2nd best numeric strength and has declared that it will take up two slots; thus leaving only one slot for the remaining two political parties and those non-aligned – The Independents – to share.

NRM will likely get its way for it has the numbers, the money and the state power to pull it off. FDC is unlikely to get its way, analyst suggest, because they do not have the necessary numbers, nor money and state power to pull it off.

Matters are made worse for FDC, some argue because seemingly UPC and ‘DP good’ (as characterised by President Museveni) are closely aligned with NRM. This status quo is worrying for it points to a reality that in Uganda we seemingly do not have multiple shades, after all – all political parties seem the same or too closely aligned.

A commentator, in fact, went further to assert that as a matter of fact FDC is the ‘biological’ child of NRM, the only difference is that the child – FDC – does not have access to the resources that make it possible for NRM. Otherwise, FDC and NRM are very similar, the commentator concluded.

A question begs asking, do we really have multi-party democracy in Uganda?

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