Members of Parliament want Local Council elections postponed to allow government properly organize the process and carry out enough civic education.
The government recently announced that LC1 elections would be held in January 2017.
The legislators’ sentiments are also shared by the current LC 1 leaders who insist queuing behind candidates will cause problems.
They are opposed the system of lining up behind candidates for the LC elections saying it will because it will cause disunity and increase cases of domestic violence.
Speaking during the Committee of Public Service and Local Government, Mr Yasin Omari, chairperson, LC1 Muyenga told members and government officials: “Our electorate are men and women. What will happen now when the husband is on the DP ticket and the wife for NRM imagine what will happen, when they reach home their will fight.”
“So it would create conflict. Imagine that conflict that will go on for five or ten years and even divorces will happen,” he voiced to MPs and officials from Local Government, Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and Electoral Commission bosses among others.
Kasana- Luwero DioceseBishop Paul Ssemogerere in his Christmas and New Year message at Mary Queen of Peace Cathedral in Luwero Town said, although the government proposal was brought in good faith, it could accelerate violence and disfranchise voters.
The bishop said lining up could create room for intimidation where one is forced to vote a particular candidate because some gifts were exchanged, including cash even when that particular candidate lacks leadership skills.
He said: “Some people will stay away from the exercise for fear of being persecuted.”
A fortnight ago, Uganda’s leading opposition party, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) also opposed the system of lining up behind candidates saying it will be subjected to manipulation.
The party raised fears that such a system might ruin democracy and claimed that the NRM party want to use the system to intimidate voters and compel them to vote in favour of their party members since the voting is done in the open as opposed to secret ballot.
However, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Electoral Commission chairman, Dr Tanga Odoi, scoffed at FDC’s deputy secretary general (administration), Mr Harold Kaija’s remarks saying that the mode of voting was endorsed by Parliament through a law that was aimed at reducing the cost of elections.
“FDC is much aware that it was the Parliament that passed the Local Government Amendment Bill (now Act) and are now using it as a trick to confuse people who are willing to cooperate. This will not work. Those who are willing to vote shall vote,” Dr Tanga noted.
Uganda has not conducted elections for LC1 (village) and LC2 (parish) for the last 16 years, the last one having been held in 2001 before the country shifted from the one-party Movement system to the multiparty system of governance.