Opposition threatens to prevent elections in Uganda

Uganda opposition party to block elections if their requests not taken seriously

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Asserting their demands for an independent electoral commission, Uganda’s largest opposition party threatened on Tuesday to hinder elections if their demands are not met, Reuters has reported.

Despite heavy criticism of his rule, President Yoweri Museveni is expected to win upcoming elections in 2016 and thus will have remained in power for 30 years.

"Uganda's constitution talks about a free and fair election. Anything less would be illegal," Francis Mwijukye, deputy spokesperson for main opposition party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), told Reuters

"Our position is that unless we have an independently constituted electoral commission and a new voters' register, we won't allow an illegal election to take place,” he added.

He didn’t mention how they would block elections.

Museveni, who is in charge of appointing chairman and other top officials to the electoral commission, had been accused of incompetence and  favouritism by the opposition groups.

Opposition groups, civil society groups and other parties have suggested the government to change election laws and allow an independent electoral commission to be established.

Betty Nambooze, a legislator from the opposition Democratic Party, said her party would push for an independent poll body and voters' register but that would not support a boycott or sabotage of the elections.

"We need to participate so that if they rig, we use that as a trigger to get people on the streets and sweep the dictator away," she said.

"No one can stop these elections, the poll will take place with or without so called electoral reforms," government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo said.

TRTWorld and agencies