Opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) National Executive Committee (CEC) has resolved to shun the upcoming elections for Uganda’s representatives to the regional parliament -the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) claiming the process was “hijacked” by the ruling party NRM.
According to a communique issued on Sunday, the NUP National Executive convened a meeting on 15th and 16th July 2022 at Namanve and took a decision that the party will not field a candidate in the race for EALA, on claims that NRM decides all the 9 representatives and uses it for patronage.
Of the 9 positions allocated for every member in the 7-state regional bloc, the NRM has 6 slots leaving the opposition and independents with only 3 who are also not favored by a Rule which subjects all candidates to an election conducted by the whole house where NRM enjoys majority.
The communique states that NUP leadership tasked the party legal team to study the matter and explore the feasibility to petition the East African Court of Justice over Uganda’s representation in EALA.
“NUP discussed the upcoming elections for East African Legislative Assembly. It was noted that EALA is an extremely important platform which should benefit the nation. Unfortunately for Uganda, it has been hijacked by NRM which now decides all 9 representatives and uses it for patronage.” the statement reads in part.
According to Article 50 of the East African Community treaty, EALA members are elected by their respective country’s national legislature. Article 50 also requires the said members to reflect their country’s political parties, opinions, gender composition, and other special groups.
Article 50 (1) of the East African treaty states that the National Assembly of each partner State shall elect, not from among its members, nine members of the assembly, who shall represent as much as it is feasible, the various political parties represented in the national assembly, shades of opinion, gender and other special interest groups in that partner state, in accordance with such procedure as the national assembly of each partner state may determine.