A resolution to elect Youth Members of Parliament by adult suffrage has been supported by Youth leaders in Eastern Uganda.
The Youth leaders made the resolution on Tuesday this week at a workshop organized by the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) and Public Policy Institute (PPI). The workshop held atgenerated political views on the future of young people in Uganda.
Youth Members of Parliament are currently elected through electoral colleges that are generated right from village, parish, Sub County and District level.
This means that the proposal by the youth leaders would require amendment of the relevant laws like the National Youth Council and Committees(Elections) regulations.
Moses Otekat an aspirant for Youth MP Eastern region says that election by adult suffrage will enable all young people to select able and vibrant youth representatives. Otekat says that the plan will also reduce the commercialization of youth politics which is the norm in the electoral colleges.
Bob Owiny the Soroti District Youth Councillor says that electoral colleges are not a true representation of the youth. Owiny says majority of the young people are left out in the election process. Owiny says that they are also advocating for creation of sub regional Youth MPs since the area of coverage is quite big at the moment. Owiny says having Youth MPs elected at sub regional level will also make them more accountable to the young people.
Priscilla Amuge a youth leader from Kalaki District says electoral colleges often lock out good candidates who would have otherwise promoted the youth agenda. Amuge says all youth will be able to challenge for political positions during election time.
The youth leaders also called for enactment of punitive laws against commercialization of politics.
Frank Rusa the Country Director Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy assured the youth leaders that the issues raised would be discussed in a national conference for action by the relevant authorities.
Rusa also urged the young people to work hand in hand irrespective of political affiliation if their political agenda is to be met.