Civil Society Demands Parliament for Electoral Reforms Ahead of 2026 Elections

Apollo Kakonge, the executive director of Western Ankole Civil Society Forum PHOTO/COURTESY

Civil society organizations are taking a proactive stance in the pursuit of transparent and equitable democratic processes, appealing to the parliamentary body to grant them an opportunity to articulate their proposed electoral reforms. Their aim is to foster an environment conducive to free and fair general elections scheduled for 2026.

The electoral commission revealed its comprehensive electoral roadmap for the upcoming year 2025-26, marking a significant milestone in the preparation for the impending elections.

Apollo Kakonge, the astute executive director of the Western Ankole Civil Society Forum, conveyed their collective sentiments during an exclusive conversation with our reporter, Apollo Kakonge. Kakonge illuminated the extensive groundwork undertaken by civil society organizations. Commencing their consultations at the grassroots level and progressing to encompass regional perspectives, they have assembled a comprehensive overview of citizen concerns. Now, their focus has shifted towards securing an audience within the parliamentary chambers. This opportunity, Kakonge emphasizes, would empower them to communicate these concerns and recommendations directly to the legislators, thereby contributing to the formulation of robust legislative frameworks that will govern the upcoming general elections.

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Kakonge elaborates further on the critical issues that have emerged from their consultative efforts. Within the national context, instances of voter bribery, vote rigging, disorderly conduct during the electoral process, illicit ballot stuffing, and even the involvement of security personnel in election-related activities have been consistently identified as significant impediments. These factors collectively hamper the efficacy of preparations for the national elections, subsequently affecting the overall integrity of the democratic process in the country.

The civil society’s proactive engagement and impassioned plea to the parliamentary body reflect their commitment to nurturing a democratic atmosphere that values the principles of fairness, inclusivity, and accuracy. By seeking to collaborate with legislators, they aspire to collaboratively establish a comprehensive framework of electoral reforms that addresses the identified shortcomings. This holistic approach aims to counteract the historic challenges associated with elections, fostering an environment wherein citizens can confidently exercise their democratic rights.

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As the nation anticipates the upcoming general elections, the call from civil society organizations carries profound significance, emphasizing the need for a collective endeavor to bolster democratic processes and safeguard the integrity of the electoral system.

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