Marginalized youths call for their strengthened inclusion in electoral processes
In a bid to strengthen the participation of marginalized youth and promote their inclusion in Electoral Processes in Uganda, organizations of youth with disabilities have urged stakeholders to consider enabling an environment for them to exercise their full rights to participate.
They say that with the increasing number of people with disabilities, its high time the electoral commission of Uganda focus on reforms that will involve the without any challenges.
During a press conference held on 26th May 2023 at grad Global members of the Interparty Youth Platform (IYOP), the youth listed various recommendations for the reforms that they deem feasible to promote the inclusiveness of marginalized groups in electoral processes.
The press conference at Grand Global Hotel on Friday
The theme of the engagement was: “Reform Proposals for Youth and Persons with Disabilities Inclusion in Electoral processes”
The National Resistance Movement Youth League Representative Maxxon Muhwezi observed that the Electoral commission should not deviate away from democracy which entitles every on should participate. He also observed the high nomination fees paid which he said hinders them to participate.
“The framers of electoral democracy hinged their ideology on people, and to show democracy people have to participate. We observe that the high nomination fees has become a song for many years, 3000,000/= nomination fees is too high for young people to fully participate in elections” he said
Derrick Namakajjo Chairperson, JeemaYouth League said “There should be a law enacted for special needs involvement of youth with special needs, The electoral commission should also design messages intended for the special needs audience”
He added that the Electoral Commission should train its employees in basic sign language interpretation for communication to persons with hearing impairment.
"We make a request to the different stakeholders on what we want? There should be a law enacted for special needs involvement of youth with special needs” he said
While Agaba Nelson, the Youth Leader, ANT observed: “Leadership doesn't depend on how much you have but how good you are. These should be the benchmarks for somebody to be voted"
He said that National Identification Regulatory Authority (NIRA) should indicate the type of disability on the IDs so that this information is relayed to the electoral commission and assist people with special needs while voting
Kibuuka A, a Lawyer said that: “A few people represent young people in this country, we need adult suffrage than electoral collages, this will enable all youth to participate in electoral processes
Joseph Kamin, from the National Consultative Forum aid that there should be a sequential modality for all nomination fees.
“Why should an LCV pay 50,000/= and yet the MPs pay 2,000,000/= also the nomination fees for the special interest groups should be scrapped” he said
African Youth Development Link (AYDL) coordinates the Youth Coalition on Electoral Democracy in Uganda (YCED), with a membership of over 40 organizations spread across the country
AYDL is implementing a one-year “Strengthening Youth Participation in the Electoral Process” (SYPEP) project supported by the USAID Uganda Civil Society Strengthening Activity (CSSA) managed by East West Management Institute