The Committee Chairperson, Jacob Oboth Oboth, says they will use two days to scrutinize the bill and approve their work plan before they set off for consultations. He explains that contrary to earlier practices where they start from the boardrooms in Parliament with technocrats, they will start with regional consultations.
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The Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs Committee will kick start the review of the electoral
reforms bills with regional consultations to get citizen’s views.
Last week, Government tabled five electoral reform bills
including the Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill No.17, 2019, the
Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Bill No.18, 2019, Electoral Commission
(Amendment) Bill No. 19, 2019, the Political Parties and Organization
(Amendment) Bill No. 20, 2019 and the Local Governments (Amendment) Bill No.21,
The Bills seek to among other things reform
electoral laws relating to the qualification of candidates campaign, financing and
the procedure in which presidential, parliamentary, local governments elections
will be held and the role of political parties and the Electoral Commission.
The bill also seek to incorporate the ten recommendations
made by the Supreme Court in the 2016 presidential election petition and the
Constitutional Amendment Act, 2018, which scrapped the age limit for
presidential and local government candidates, extended the time for filing
election petitions, hearing of petitions and the period for holding
presidential by-elections when polls are nullified.
The speaker of parliament, Rebecca Kadaga
forwarded the bills to Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs Committee for scrutiny before a report is presented to
parliament for discussion. The
Committee Chairperson, Jacob Oboth Oboth, says
they will use two days to scrutinize the bill and approve their work plan
before they set off for consultations.
He explains that contrary to earlier
practices where they start from the boardrooms in Parliament with technocrats, they
will start with regional consultations. Oboth says they will split the committee into four groups and
dispatch them to major regional areas for consultations to avoid being
bombarded with complaints of ignoring the citizenry.
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He says the committee will also give chance to people who say
the proposed reforms don’t reflect the Supreme court recommendations to speak
to the bill.
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In 2016, Supreme Court judges led by the Chief Justice, Bart
Katureebe while delivering their judgment in the Amama Mbabazi Versus Museveni
and 2 Others Presidential Election Petition, made pronouncements about
outstanding electoral reforms that are meant to guarantee free and fair
They included extending the filing and determination period
of presidential election petitions to 60 days to enable the concerned parties
and court to adequately prepare and present their case, regulation of public
officials in elections and punishment of media houses, which refuse to grant
equal airtime to all presidential candidates and prohibition of donations
during elections among others.