President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is behind talks of the ongoing parliamentary democracy debate for selfish interests, some political observers have noted.
Early this week, media reports emerged that the ruling National Resistance Movement – NRM Government adherents are quietly mooting a move to inaugurate a Constitutional Review Commission to change the country’s electoral system from universal adult suffrage to parliamentary democracy. However, political pundits argue that it is a trick by Museveni, 77, who wants to exploit legislators under his ruling National Resistance Movement – NRM party, which enjoys the numerical strength in Parliament to vote for him in 2026 as he seeks a 7th term in office.
Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, the Forum for Democratic Change – FDC Spokesperson also Kira Municipality MP argues that the move is undoubtedly being mooted to exclusively benefit Museveni whose advanced age may not favor him to traverse the vast country in 2026 to canvass for votes.
Norbert Mao, the Democratic Party – DP President, asserts that the NRM adherents’ idea appears unpalatable but it is the brainchild of President Museveni as an invisible force prior to the removal of presidential age and term-limits by parliament in 2017.
But Linos Ngompek, the Kibanda North County MP (NRM) in Kiryandongo district refuted the claims, saying that the democratic parliamentary system being proposed if it succeeds will benefit Uganda by reducing deadly election violence and cutting down exorbitant budgets for conducting elections in the country.
Ngompek points out that in 2016, the Electoral Commission – EC spent Shillings 419 billion on organizing general elections. Subsequently, in 2021, the budget grew to up to Shillings 868 billion, which is costly to the country considering the numerous priorities of the Government.
The democratic parliamentary system of governance is where the executive derives its autonomous legitimacy from its ability to command the support of the legislature, typically a legislature, to which it is accountable. In other words, under the parliamentary democracy, the President is accountable to the popular votes in the August house, who equally can vote him out.
Under the Presidential system, the leader is elected by universal adult suffrage and must attain at least 50 per cent of the total votes to avoid a rerun. Several democracies on the African continent use the parliamentary system of governance as opposed to a presidential system.
They include Mauritius, Ethiopia, Somalia, Angola, Algeria, Bin, and Botswana among others. Elsewhere in the world, the democratic parliamentary system is the dominant form of government in Europe, with 32 of its 50 sovereign states being parliamentarian. It is also common in the Caribbean, being the form of government of 10 of its 13 island states, and in Oceania.