The chairman of the Electoral Commission, Dr Badru Kiggundu, has revealed that he loses no sleep over a possible boycott of the 2016 elections by the opposition.
In an interview on Tuesday, Kiggundu told The Observer that the opposition had been making similar threats over “cycles of general elections” he has organised (2006 and 2011).
Some opposition politicians, including FDC President Dr Kizza Besigye, have often threatened not to participate in the 2016 election without reforms that would level the ground, but to Kiggundu it sounds an all-too-familiar empty threat.
“[That] threat collapses when the programme for nominations and so forth have been announced, but it’s up to them,” Kiggundu said. “I don’t want to enter that area, because they have their sentiments. Maybe they want to please their masters who finance them… but I am sure not all of them can oblige to that.”
Kiggundu’s remarks came in a response to a question about what the Electoral Commission was doing to push government to table reforms to Parliament in time as a way of mitigating opposition’s threat to boycott 2016 elections without the reforms in place.
Commenting on the desired constitutional amendment seeking an “independent electoral commission” as opposed to the current one, Kiggundu said that he was not “crazy” about that reform, arguing that he has always been independent in executing his duties.
He laughed at the agitators for the independent electoral commission to do more, than just inserting the word “independent” in the Constitution.
“… None of our proposals establishes the independent electoral commission because adding the word independent [is not enough] you have to define what is the value addition but not just adding independent, not merely being a copy-cat because, our neighbour Kenya had the independent electoral commission,” he said.
“It’s not the word independent that makes people in the institution to demonstrate their independence we have demonstrated our independence because we understand what the law says under Article 62 and we shall continue to do so. So, if the lawmakers agree to add the word independent, I am not crazy about it.”
Source : The Observer