By Voice of Lango Editorial (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The powers of the leader of the National Unity Platform (NUP) Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine have been reduced after the party amended its constitution reads Nile post news.
The party proposed two five-year term limits for all party leaders and flag bearers at all levels, including the party president.
This was agreed upon during the party’s delegate conference that took place in Kampala last week.
The meeting, which was attended by over 66% of its members, largely debated proposals for the amendment of the party constitution, as presented by the constitutional review committee chaired by Medard Ssegona.
After a very long, hot and interactive debate, the amended Constitution was passed, with modifications to some of the proposals initially made by the committee.
The constitution removed the power of the President and the Secretary General to nominate delegates and expands the composition of the delegates conference from the current 150 members to more than 500 members.
This will depend on the number of elected leaders the party has at the level of MP, mayor, and local government district chairperson.
“The constitution imposes two five-year term limits on all party leaders as well as all elected leaders under the party flag,” the statement from the party read in part.
This means that a person cannot be a party president, party chairperson or secretary general for more than two terms.
Likewise, a person cannot be a Member of Parliament or councillor at the same level under the NUP flag for more than two terms.
This provision will be operational beginning with the next elective term.
Political analysts has however warned that the party might lose members following its decision to institute this two-term limit for all elective and party leadership positions.
But the party noted that a person can still be the presidential flag-bearer of the party, even if he or she is no longer the president of the party.
The party further explained that the term-limits do not apply to a person who stands for elections at any level and is not declared winner, but they apply whenever a person wins an election.
According to the NUP spokesperson, Joel Ssenyonyi, the decision on term limits was taken to promote democracy but people can move on from previously held positions to a new position if they wish to continue serving.
“This constitution was made in 2004, so, it needed to match the times, it needed to match our aspirations and our way of looking at things democratically and has changed seeking leaders. One of those is to lessen the powers of the president,” he said.
“Because the constitution we have had provided for the president and secretary general nominating people to come for a delegate conference and voting about 50 of those. What that means is that if the president of the party is interested in making a certain change or whatever, the case might be he or she will have his way or her way by bringing people who have capacity to vote.So we thought that is not proper,” he added.
The amended Constitution also sets in place structures for the party from village level to the national level.
It establishes committees and conventions right from the village to the district, and the district leadership is represented at the delegates conference.
The Constitution introduces the position of party chairperson and deputy party chairperson elected by the delegates conference.
Their role is to chair the delegates conference, carry out some diplomatic functions as mandated and be generally responsible for cohesion and conflict resolution amongst senior leaders.
Given the hostile environment under which opposition operates, the Constitution provides for various options of candidate selection which may include holding party primaries, vetting of candidates or a combination of approaches.
In case the party decides to hold primaries, the constitution lays down the electoral colleges (Party structures) responsible for election of flag bearers at different levels.
The Constitution makes it difficult to amend certain provisions of the Constitution, especially those related to term limits, the mode of election of the National Executive Committee as well as those relating to the dissolution of the party.
The Party’s Code of Conduct and Integrity Oath are annexed to the Constitution.
In accordance with the Political Parties and Organisations Act, 2005 the amended Constitution will now be forwarded to the regulator of political parties, and once gazetted, will start operating.