Key IPOD funder browbeats to withdraw support if NUP does not join it

The Inter-Party Organisation Dialogue (IPOD) is in precarious after its main supporter, the Netherlands Institute of Multiparty Democracy (NIMD), said it would stop funding it.

The NIMD stated in a statement dated September 21, 2022 that it will “reappraise its involvement” in IPOD unless the largest opposition party, the National Unity Platform (NUP), agrees to join.

It goes further to say that the National Unity Platform (NUP), Uganda’s biggest opposition party it has indicated that they will not sign up to the revised 2022 IPOD Memorandum of Understanding, and the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) is hesitant to sign up.

NIMD stated that they have supported IPOD since 2010, and that until the last general election in 2021, all political parties represented in Parliament have participated in IPOD prior to the arrival of the NUP.

They stated that IPOD, as the country’s only national discussion platform, can play a critical role in developing democracy, but only if it is truly inclusive and all legislative parties are present at the conversation table.

‘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,” the statement adds.

NUP Secretary General David Lewis Rubongoya said that they will not join IPOD unless the requirements they established are met like stop kidnapping individuals, letting opposition parties do their business without interference and that elections should be respected.

FDC spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda acclaimed the NIMD decision, asserting that the donors were even late since they had always complained about IPOD.

According to Emmanuel Dombo of the NRM, they cannot force any party to join the IPOD and hence the terms established by the NIMD are unreasonable.

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