World Bulletin/News Desk
Uganda's ruling party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM), on Monday distanced itself from a proposed bill to extend the mandate of the president, parliament and local councils for five years.
"The NRM is not the one moving this motion to extend the leaders term," NRM spokesperson Mary Karooro Okurut told journalists at the party's headquarters in Kampala.
"As the ruling party, we are saying no; we do not want to extend our mandate," she added.
Robert Kafeero Ssekitoleko, an independent lawmaker, announced in February that there was need to extend terms of office for all elected leaders from the president to the local councilors.
The Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Council Extension Bill 2014 states that Uganda is currently undergoing a new democratic path.
It argues that the political governance issues that are handled by parliament and the executive are still weak and time is needed to harmonize all existing loopholes, especially in regards to electoral reforms.
The bill proposes, therefore, extending the mandate of all political leadership positions for five years effective February 2016.
The NRM spokesperson insisted that should the Bill come to Parliament, the ruling party lawmakers would not support it.
"NRM cannot get its own sword and commit suicide, because we are the ones who brought the rule of law and constitutionalism," she said.
When asked by AA to clarify, Okurut says: "We may have challenges within some of our institutions, [but] what's important is to work on those challenges rather than postpone the elections."
When contacted by AA Sunday, MP Ssekitoleko denied pioneering the Bill.
"I was consulted by some members of the NRM who initiated it," he said.
"I gave them my reasons for supporting it, but if they are the same people choosing to abandon it, I don’t see why I should go ahead with it," added the independent legislator.Last Mod: 23 Mart 2014, 16:14