DP Members Challenge Museveni-Mao Deal Before Constitutional Court

The cooperation pact signed between Museveni’s National Resistance Movement (NRM) party and Norbert Mao’s Democratic Party (DP) has been challenged before the Constitutional Court.

The petition that was filed last Friday was lodged by six aggrieved members of the DP.

The petitioners claim that Mao, without consulting the party structures, signed a cooperation agreement with the NRM in which he committed the party to supporting the governance agenda and supporting parliamentary votes on matters of confidence and supply for the full term of Parliament.

The MPs also claim part of the terms of the cooperation was to make Mao the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, which position he has already assumed.

The respondents to the petition are Mao, Dr Gerald Siranda (DP secretary general), DP, and the Attorney General.

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The petitioners went on to cite more of the cooperation agreement obligations that the DP has allegedly committed to doing on its part. They include; there won’t be any existing DP party structures within the central region by the next general polls in 2026, ministers appointed from DP into Museveni’s Cabinet shall agree to be bound by Cabinet rules, and shall also be bound by the principle of confidentiality.

The other is DP agreeing to undertake to keep full voting numbers present whenever the House is sitting where DP has committed to supporting the NRM government and matters of confidence and supply.

Through their lawyers of KBW Advocates, the six aggrieved legislators now want the court to, among others, declare that the act of DP represented by Mao in signing the said cooperation agreement with the ruling NRM undermines the spirit and principles of democratic governance.

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They also want the court to declare that the act of DP and NRM agreeing that by 2026, there shall be no existing structures of the DP within the central region, undermines the spirit of democracy.

Further, they want the court to declare that the cooperation agreement is null and void and is not binding on the DP constitution.

By press time, the court had not yet summoned Mao, DP, Dr Siranda and the Attorney General to file their response before setting a hearing date.

On July 20, President Museveni and DP’s Norbert Mao signed a working cooperation agreement between the DP and the NRM party that will be in place until 2026 polls. The signing was witnessed by the NRM’s secretary general, Mr Richard Tadwong, and the DP’s secretary general, Dr Gerald Siranda.

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