EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Political Federation, Beatrice Kiraso has advised small political parties within each of the East African Community member states to consider merging to benefit more.
Kiraso who was recently in Rwanda to meet members of all political parties said that with more than 140 political parties in all the five EAC member states, there was need for agreements on how they will form bigger parties in the wider context of EAC being a single nation after a political federation.
“If the government of East Africa is to be democratically elected, political parties will have to agree on how they will form EAC-wide parties through coalitions.
Right now the political parties in East Africa are more than 140, they are National-based and some are too small to win even one parliamentary seat at national level. This is not sustainable,” she said
In Burundi alone, there are 43 political parties.
Kiraso, who travelled to all the five member states to sensitise political parties praised Rwanda’s participation in her programme and expressed disappointment in Tanzania and Uganda for failing to attend the sessions.
“I am very excited that this round has been completed. All the ten political parties in Rwanda participated at high level following earlier meetings of Political Parties in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania,” she said
Kiraso also touched on the issue of violence during and after elections pointing out that the EAC was working on an EAC conflict prevention and management resolution to deal with conflicts in case they arise.
‘’ The up-coming elections in all the EAC countries, should not cause or accelerate conflicts and unrest in East Africa. We are starting to build our own home-grown standards and mechanisms to democracy and democratization processes,’’ she said.
Kiraso said that the Early Warning Mechanism of the EAC has already been approved by the Council and should be operational soon.