The Leaders of the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) political party on Tuesday paid a courtesy visit to the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga raising their key issues of concern including membership to the Inter Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) and membership legality of legislators that crossed to other Political parties.
According to Sam Obbo, the Private Press Secretary to the Speaker, the ANT leaders led by Party president Gen Muntu visited the Speaker and asked to join IPOD since they now qualify for the membership.
IPOD is an umbrella of political parties with representation in parliament. These include the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), the Democratic Party (DP) Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC) and Justice Forum (JEEMA).
A few weeks ago, MP Paul Mwiru. (Jinja East) who joined Parliament on the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party ticket recently joined Muntu’s ANT, others Gerald Karuhanga (Ntungamo Municipality) and Kassiano Wadri (Arua Municipality) also joined the party. Their move qualifies ANT for membership however some nitty-grits must be attended too.
Reacting to their concern, Kadaga promised Muntu that she would first make some consultations.
“I will consult widely, especially on the issue of MPs that have since crossed from one party to the other; including the ANT party. The current law allows any MP to cross during the last 6 months of Parliament’s tenure. We shall discuss whether Parliament can immediately change the register and recognize the said MPs. The stakeholders will include Parliament’s Legal Dept; the Uganda Law Society; and others.” he said.
Speaking to Watchdog Uganda, Frank Rusa, the Executive Secretary of IPOD and country representative of Netherland Institute for Multiparty Democracy said that the Dialogue is created by the Memorandum of Understanding and it’s supposed to be followed as soon as the party gets a representative in Parliament.
“However, the technical challenge in this matter will be solved by the Speaker because those MPs who joined ANT or NUP were elected by the people from the parties they defected from, and in this case they crossed on their own not by voice of voters. The element of democracy must also be respected towards those who voted them while in their former parties. Speaker will play a greater role in this. Also as IPOD, we have organs and even the party members will have to sit and discuss,” he said.
Last week, five incumbent MPs joined Robert Kyagulanyi’s National Unity Platform, these include; John Baptist Nambeshe of Manjiya County, Patrick Nsamba Oshabe from Kasanda County North, Latif Ssebagala Sengendo (Kawempe North), David Lukyamuzi Kalwanga (Busujju County) and Francis Zaake from Mityana Municipality.
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