Uganda: FDC Opts Out of IPOD, Wants Reforms First

The decision follows a meeting by the FDC Working Committee on Friday last week

Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) announced yesterday it had opted out of the Inter Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) activities pending reforms in the organisation which brings political parties in Parliament together.

The decision follows a meeting by the FDC Working Committee on Friday last week. FDC through its secretary general Nandala Mafabi will this week write to the IPOD secretariat communicating the decision, according to FDC party spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda.

Key among the reforms FDC wants is the amendment of the organisation's Memorandum of Understanding which parties represented in the 9th Parliament endorsed.

"Let us reconstitute IPOD, give ourselves leadership and define our roles and then we can resume. At the moment, there is no IPOD because there is no memorandum," Mr Ssemujju said yesterday during the party's weekly press briefing.

He said if IPOD maintains that it is an organisation for parties represented in Parliament, then the parties in the 10th Parliament will have to sign a new memorandum which excludes the Conservative Party (CP) and Justice Forum (JEEMA).

Both CP and JEEMA are not represented in the 10th Parliament, their candidates having lost in the February 18 polls.

However, Mr Ssemujju said FDC's decision was not in any way binding to other parties.

"If there are others (parties) that want to continue without a memorandum, we (FDC) don't want to be an encumbrance. They can go ahead but for us as an institution, until that has been done, we will not participate in any activity of IPOD."

A July 1 meeting at State House Entebbe convened under the auspices of IPOD between President Museveni and leaders of DP and a UPC faction has since caused a rift between FDC leaders and their Opposition compatriots. FDC which currently chairs the IPOD council claims they did not sanction the meeting while DP says they did only to withdraw at the last hour.

About IPOD

In the run up to the 2016 presidential polls, all IPOD members except the ruling National Resistance Movement, announced they had withdrawn from IPOD and the National Consultative Forum (NCF) following the passing of the Constitutional Amendments Bill 2015. The parties later back-tracked on the decision. IPOD members, including NRM, had proposed a number of reforms which were ignored by Parliament. The Opposition parties accused NRM of using its majority numbers to have the Bill passed without the recommendations.

IPOD is facilitated by the Netherlands Institute For Multiparty Democracy and was set up to offer dialogue and exchange of ideas among political parties in the country with a view of improving the election process.

Source: The Monitor

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