November 30, 2020

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Proportional representation will root out chaos in elections – IPOD

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Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) country representative and IPOD executive secretary, Frank Rusa

Kampala, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  The Executive Secretary of the Inter-Party Organization for Dialogue-IPOD Frank has said that the violence witnessed in multiparty democracy can be solved by a proportional representation system of democracy.

In Proportional representation, apolitical party that wins 10 percent of the vote, will win 10% of the seats in parliament and a party that wins 20% of the vote, will win 20% of the seats.

If a party wins over 50 percent of the vote, it wins over 50% of the seats and can form a government. If no party fails to win over 50 percent of the vote, a coalition government usually has to be formed.

Elections in Uganda have been characterized by violent clashes especially in Presidential elections were the party that wins over 50% of the vote takes all the spoils.

This scenario has already manifested itself in the current campaigns for the 2021 general Election less than two weeks into the campaign period.

Opposition presidential candidates have face harassment and brutality from security forces and have been blocked from accessing the electorate in several districts.

On Wednesday, the National Unity Platform-NUP party presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi was arrested while addressing a rally in Luuka district on Wednesday. His arrest sparked off widespread riots all across the country.

In an Interview with URN Rusa said the reason elections have become a do or die affair is due to the type of democracy practised in Uganda which is called first past the post.

According to Rusa, IPOD has been in discussions to consider adopting a proportional representation of democracy.

He hopes that the current turmoil is an opportunity by leaders to reflect on what can be done to solve the kind of upheaval that elections usually bring. 

Rusa has also challenged the Electoral Commission to exercise its mandate and take the lead by asserting its power over the current electoral process to enhance the credibly of the elections.

He notes that Ugandans want to see the Electoral Commission in the driver’s seat to have faith in the process.

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