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DP Leaders Advocate for Proportional Representation Electoral System

As one way of augmenting representation of citizen’s voices at all leadership levels, members of Democratic Party (DP) block are now advocating for the overhauling of majoritarian voting system in favor of proportion representation.

This call was made by People’s Development Party (PDP) head and former presidential candidate, Dr. Abed Bwanika during an Inter Party for Organization Dialogue (IPOD) symposium held at Mestil hotel in Nsambya yesterday.

Under the Proportion representation system, divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body.

Under the current dispensation, Bwanika says different politicians continue to be barred from contributing to governance of the country on the pretext of not amassing adequate votes.

Key among those, he cites four-time presidential candidate and former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) President Dr. Kizza Besigye.

“Through the framework of Proportional Representation, we can draft in other useful traits within our politics that cannot be picked by ballots. A political party can be able to pick them and make them useful on the floor of parliament and at local governments” Bwanika says.

Though urgently desirable, he says President Yoweri Museveni needs to first be consulted lest it will crumble like other proposals.

“So many meetings we put in our energy but the door is closed. From what they submitted on the floor of parliament, we can guess how much of the door is open”, Bwanika advises.

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Former DP President General Dr. Paul Kawanga Semwogerere says this system can accommodate different political thoughts altogether.

“It is easier given the fact that you working on a multi member constituency basis. You have one constituency with several candidates and it is easier to negotiate to accommodate people of different backgrounds than it is under the current system”,

With a semblance of power balance, he says turbulence and irregularities accruing from election malpractice and manipulation will be dealt with partly.

In Africa, South Africa, Senegal, Seychelles, Rwanda and Mali are among the many countries that subscribe to this arrangement.

This is not the first time such a proposal is surfacing.

At the peak of the tumultuous 1980 elections, Semwogerere says he pitched the idea to the Vice President then Paulo Muwanga who furthered it to cabinet. However, on arrival, he says it was turned down by the minister of Public Service under whose docket the function of general elections fell and was contesting in the East.

Not done, he took it to President Museveni who was then the Uganda Patriotic Movement (UPM) Chairman who similarly after a thorough deliberation rejected it.

“So we tried to explain to Mr. Museveni that his UPM can work comfortably well with DP and it would be easier for them to get sufficient votes to guarantee a place or two. But he also did not accept it”, he intimates.

Since then it has remained a cradle song.

Even though the odds have been stacked against this arrangement, Semwogerere calls for resilience.

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