KAMPALA – National Unity Platform – Uganda’s main political opposition party has announced that all Party leaders and all elected leaders under the party flag shall not exceed two five-year terms in the same position.
The announcement was made in the ten (10) constitutional amendments reached at on 15th April 2023 during held an extraordinary meeting of its Delegates Conference at the Party’s new premises in Makerere – Kavule.
In a statement, the party announced that “The Constitution imposes two five-year term limits on all Party leaders as well as all elected leaders under the party flag. 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.”
However, 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. Likewise, term limits do not apply to a person who stands for elections at any level and is not declared a winner, but they apply whenever a person wins an election.
The meeting which was attended by over 66% of its members also passed other amendments as follows;
1) The Constitution eliminates the President and Secretary General’s nominees to a Delegates Conference and expands the composition of the Delegates Conference from the current 150 members to more than 500 members, depending on the number of elected leaders the Party has at the level of MP, Mayor, and Local Government District Chairperson. All NUP District Chairpersons and District Secretaries for Women Affairs are now members of the Delegates Conference. The Diaspora is also represented through the Diaspora Leadership Council.
2) The Constitution provides for a representative National Executive Committee that largely comprises of representatives for special groups, i.e. Women, Youth, Institutions, PWDs, the elderly, professionals and the informal sector.
3) In addition to ordinary membership, the Constitution introduces honorary membership which shall be awarded to not more than three persons in any given year. It shall be awarded by NEC only to persons who have made a contribution to the values and objectives of the Party in a significant manner.
4) The Constitution sets in place structures for the Party from village level to the national level. It establishes Committees and Conventions right form the village to the District, and the District leadership is represented at the Delegates Conference.
5) 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.
6) Given the hostile environment under which we operate, 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.
7) The Constitution introduces an Advisory Council comprising of former Party Presidents, Party Chairpersons, Deputy Chairpersons, Deputy Presidents, Secretaries General, former leaders of Government Business or Leaders of the Opposition and all honorary members. The role of the Council is to advise and give guidance on the general direction of the Party at any time.
8) The Constitution introduces 10 departments and corresponding committees, through which the work of the Party is to be done. Whereas the Constitution empowers the President to appoint heads of departments and some other offices within the Party, their appointment (and removal from office) shall be with the approval of the National Executive Committee.
9) 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.
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