NIMD statement on IPOD and working on inclusive democracy in Uganda
The Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy Uganda has been supporting The Interparty Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) since 2010. As the secretariat of the dialogue platform, NIMD Uganda aimed to provide a safe space for inclusive, respectful and effective dialogue between the Ugandan parties in Parliament.
For NIMD, inclusivity is a prerequisite for effective dialogue. We believe that a dialogue process can only work when all political parties in Parliament commit to speaking and listening to each other as they deal with the many challenges in their country, with respect for differences in viewpoints between various parties. Up until the last general elections of 2021, all political parties represented in Parliament have participated in IPOD.
Now that the National Unity Platform (NUP), the leading opposition party in Uganda, has announced that they will not sign up to the new 2022 IPOD Memorandum of Understanding, and the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) is hesitant to sign up, NIMD has to reassess its involvement in IPOD.
IPOD is the only national dialogue platform in the country and can play a pivotal role in strengthening democracy. But IPOD can only do so if it is fully inclusive and all parliamentary parties are at the dialogue table. NIMD calls upon all parties to ensure that the conditions are met to make this possible, including respecting the safety and political rights of all citizens.
NIMD still hopes that IPOD will start its third phase with all political parties on board. As a key partner of Ugandan political parties, NIMD stands ready to continue to support the process towards a new Memorandum of Understanding. However, we will only consider continuing to host the secretariat if IPOD is fully inclusive.
NIMD will continue working with the youth, civil society and political actors to create effective dialogue spaces for democratic progress. We remain dedicated to strengthening democracy in Uganda.