PL wrangles should send a signal to political parties

The battles going on between the different factions of the Liberal Party (PL) has put the internal workings of the different political organisations on the spot light.

The battles going on between the different factions of the Liberal Party (PL) has put the internal workings of the different political organisations on the spot light.

On the whole, the case is putting to test the commitment of Political leaders to democratic ideals especially in the political parties.

Recently five expelled members of PL filed a case in the courts of law challenging their expulsion from the Party following the hotly contested party elections that saw Commerce Minister Protais Mitali elected as party president.
And, on October 05, the court blocked pariament from replacing the two PL deputies.

The five expelled members namely; Elie Ngirabakunzi, Isaie Murashi, Laurien Nyabyenda, Emmanuel Uwimana and Emmanuel Musabyimana are challenging the decision to throw them out of the party.

Elie Ngirabakunzi and Isaie Murashi are also contesting their expulsion from the chamber of deputies which came as a result of their expulsion from the party.

This is so because they had no party to represent in the house.

As if that it not enough for this mystified party, it is evident that the troubles within the party are so deep.

On September 21 PL president for Nyarugenge District Jean Gualbert Burasa denounced the bickering party. This in addition to the court battles has demonstrated the incapacity of the party to resolve disputes using internal mechanisms.

What the case has helped to bring on to the surface is the fact that all is not well with some political parties.

At the centre of this wrangle is a group of people who are considered role models since they are public leaders.

It is therefore clear that they offer leadership to the rest of their members on some kind of moral high ground because the general public is always watching their every move and action.

As such public leaders should always be above suspicion. Their integrity should be irreproachable. Once they lose integrity they lose the moral high ground to lead others.

That is why justice must prevail and those on the right side are absolved. More so the wrangles in PL largely impact on the nation’s democratisation process not only because it is a political party but also because it is a partner in the governance of the country alongside other six political parties.

In the same respect as contained in Article 54 of the constitution, political organisations must always reflect the unity of the people.

The fact that party leaders are on a collision course with one another does not project a good example to the rest of the population. Wrangles only help to showcase party leaders as having their own agendas as opposed to serving the national interest.

It would therefore be prudent and rational for the political party leaders in PL to find an amicable way of resolving their differences instead of washing their linen in public.

They can reach an internal consensus on the way forward or emulate better organised parties.

More still the existence of a consultative forum for the political parties in the country should be utilised by these politicians in PL.

This consultative forum which is provided for by Article 56 of the constitution is in part charged with the objective of “assisting in resolving internal conflicts within a political organisation upon request by that political organisation” among other objectives.

So it would be prudent for these politicians to take their case before the consultative forum first.

The wrangles in PL have also brought to surface the issue of party discipline. It would be interesting to find out whether all the registered parties follow the conditions they had to meet before being registered and allowed to operate.

Do members on an internal level follow and abide by whatever has been agreed upon? If not what mechanisms do exist in the different political organisations to enforce party discipline?

Again it would also be worth assessing the continued relevance of different political party’s participation in cabinet.

Article 116 of the constitution provides in part that “the members of cabinet are selected from political organisations on the basis of the number of seats they hold in the chamber of deputies without excluding the possibility of appointing to cabinet other competent people who do not belong to political organisations”.

In case many political parties are embroiled in leadership squabbles, how does that reflect on governance in the country and especially the functioning of ministries where such leaders hold positions? Would it not be worth debating?

In some political systems the head of state has leverage to appoint people from his own political party exclusively.

Such wrangles serve to create a situation where by people call for constitutional reforms to avoid party wrangles from impacting on the functioning of government.