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 Mr 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.
“… On Wednesday, July 20, the third respondent (DP) purportedly represented by the first respondent (Mao) as chairman general (notwithstanding the fact that in DP, there is no such position as chairman general), without any authority, consultation, or consent from the organs of the Democratic Party, and without following the provisions of the constitution, signed a cooperation with the NRM,” reads in part the court documents.
The respondents to the petition are Mr Mao, Dr Gerald Siranda (DP secretary general), DP, and the Attorney General.
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.
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.