The Democratic Party (DP) has handed over the Interparty Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) leadership to Forum for Democratic Change (FDC).
The official handover ceremony took place on Wednesday in Kampala.
While handing over the IPOD chairmanship to FDC leader Patrick Oboi Amuriat , DP President General Norbert Mao said during his reign they managed to chair the symposium on Electoral Reforms that set the stage for the party members’ engagements with the Parliamentary Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on Electoral Reforms.
He urged the new leadership to continue from where they have stopped in advocating for meaningful reforms.
“The elephant in the room is whether we can engage in advocating for free and fair elections and this can only be done if we meaningful Electoral Reforms are put into action,” said Mao.
“During your tenure make sure that IPOD is not all about politics, also discuss about the social and economic problem affecting the country because political revolutions are usually triggered by those who don’t have and those who have.”
Amuriat will chair the IPOD Summit as the FDC Secretary General Nathan Nandala Mafabi will chair the IPOD Council for the next six months.
In his remarks, Amuriat said they are going to ensure that multi-Party democracy works for Ugandans by advocating for a fair play ground for all IPOD member parties.
He also revealed that smooth transition of power was also on top of their agenda as the go about their new role as IPOD heads.
“We should not accept sham elections to take place in this country again. We are opening up a new chapter by fostering trust and confidence among ourselves as we work on the smooth transition of power at the level of Presidency,” Amuriat disclosed.
At the same event, Mafabi noted, “We are not coming to confront anybody, we come to work together, and to create space for everyone to exercise his/her political will freely.”
Frank Rusa, the IPOD Executive Secretary said FDC’s leadership comes at critical point when the country is preparing for the 2021 general elections.
“My hope is that these organs realize that only by working together to achieve one common goal, which is ultimately a fully functional and democratic Uganda will the country move forward. So, there is a need to unite, now more than ever,” said Rusa.
NRM boycotts handover ceremony:
In what looks to be retaliation against FDC for missing the past two IPOD summits, the ruling party-National Resistance Movement (NRM) has also boycotted the handover ceremony-no party member has showed up for the function.
Mao has described NRM’s action as a high form of ‘immorality’.
“As you can see, NRM is absent today, I don’t know the message they are trying to send. There absence is something I find inexplicable,” he said.
“IPOD still has challenges as you can see empty chairs of NRM leaders but I insist that the potential of IPOD outweighs the challenges.”
IPOD is a forum established in 2010 with support from the Netherlands Institute for Multi-Party Democracy (NIMD) and the main political parties in Uganda, for a sole reason of facilitating inclusive talks between political parties and figures in Uganda with the aim of building trust and creating mutual relationships among them.
The current membership include NRM, DP, FDC, Justice Forum (JEEMA) and Uganda People’s Congress (UPC).
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