Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Uganda: 89 percent Ugandans okays electoral reforms - Poll

By Eriasa Mukiibi Sserunjogi
Kampala — A poll conducted by Afrobarometer, a reputable Africa-wide firm, shows that 89 per cent of Ugandans would like to see change in at least one aspect of the electoral system ahead of next year's election.

The poll results come with just a month left to nominations for next year's elections. Opposition politicians and civil society groups have complained that government has disregarded meaningful reforms.

The poll results were released last Friday. The poll was conducted between May 8 and May 26, but the results will be released in four phases, this being the first.

Dr Frederick Golooba-Mutebi, the Afrobarometer lead investigator for the poll, said another batch of results will be released today with the remaining two expected in September and October.

The theme of the first batch of the poll results, Dr Golooba-Mutebi said "was an indirect response to supporters of NRM that it is the 'disgruntled' Opposition members who were demanding for electoral reforms."

Mr Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister for the Presidency, doubted the accuracy of the results, saying Ugandans have confidence in the electoral system as demonstrated in their aspiration to vote next year.

"If you see the enthusiasm Ugandans show while registering, updating and reviewing their registration particulars and finally the voter turn out, you will without a doubt know the confidence Ugandans have in the electoral process," Mr Tumwebaze told Daily Monitor yesterday.

Poll findings

- 57 per cent of those interviewed said the President should stop appointing members of the Electoral Commission.

- 86 per cent wanted candidates convicted of vote-buying barred from running in any elections for at least five years.

- Eight out of 10 respondents wanted election results to be declared at the constituency level.

- 55 per cent said presidential candidates should be required to name their running mates before the elections.

- 89 per cent of the respondents had at least one issue which they wanted changed regarding the conduct of elections.

- 49 per cent of those interviewed said voters were bribed during elections.

- 27 per cent said voters were threatened with violence at the polls.

- 20 per cent said the Opposition were effectively prevented from challenging for power.

- 48 per cent said the votes are not always counted fairly.

- 45 per cent said elections do not enable voters to remove non-performing leaders from office.

These being partial results, some of the questions which were put to the respondents were not released, and neither was the data set.

Support for elections high

- 87 per cent view elections as the best way to choose leaders. Based on this, the pollster concluded that there is "a gap between popular demand for and actual supply of high-quality elections," which the firm said "may help explain majority support for a number of proposed electoral reforms."

-Source: www.monitor.co.ug

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