Democratic Party (DP) president Norbert Mao has taken over the chairmanship of the Inter-party Organization for Dialogue (Ipod). Mao took over from Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) Jimmy Akena, ahead of the 2019 Ipod Summit to be held later this year.
The changes were announced at a media briefing at Protea Kampala hotel in the presence of representatives from other Ipod party members, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Justice Forum (JEEMA) and the National Resistance Movement (NRM).
Akena while handing over, said consultative meetings have been held by the Ipod council leading to the first ever Summit of Leaders in December 2018 where the presidents of DP, JEEMA, NRM and UPC met to adopt a four-point agenda committing their respective parties to work together to strengthen political parties.
“During the meeting, we agreed to promote constitutionalism and the rule of law, inclusion of women and youth in politics and work together on constitutional and electoral reforms to strengthen democratic governance in Uganda,” he said.
As the incoming chairman of Ipod, Mao is expected to chair the upcoming summit as the DP secretary general Gerald Black Siranda chairs the Ipod council. Frank Rusa, executive secretary of Ipod said, Mao’s leadership comes at a critical point in Uganda considering that some political parties have already declared candidates for the 2021 polls, calling out for the need to work together more than ever in the political space ahead of the elections.
“My hope is that these organs realise that only by working together to achieve one common goal, which is ultimately a fully functional and democratic Uganda will the country move forward. So, there is a need to unite, now more than ever,” Rusa said.