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Independents not Consulted on Drafts Guidelines Ahead of 2021

The Deputy Attorney General, Mwesigwa Rukutana, the acting Chairperson of the National Consultative Forum, said independents were also consulted and their views taken into consideration.
18 Apr 2019 14:38
Minister Mwesigwa Rukutana consulting an official of the Electoral Commision

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Independent Members of parliament have faulted the National Consultative Forum-NCF for ignoring them while drafting guidelines that directly affect them.

NCF held a six day’s consultative meeting at Best Western Hotel in Entebbe with different political organizations and actors on the draft guidelines seeking to regulate independent candidates ahead of the next elections.  

The guidelines are meant to operationalize article 72 section 5 of the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Act. 

The draft, which entails among others the interpretation, eligibility to stand as an independent candidate, the identification of symbols to be used in the campaign and election, restriction of campaign funding from foreign sources and duties of an independent candidate to offer information pertain his credentials for vying for an elective post to the electoral commission among others.   The forum also set a time frame of between April and September 30th within, which such a bill should be brought to parliament for approval and enactment.

The leader of Independent candidates in Parliament, Andrew Aja Baryayanga wonders why the NCF decided to draft the guidelines without consulting them.

However, the Deputy Attorney General, Mwesigwa Rukutana, the acting Chairperson of the National Consultative Forum, said independents were also consulted and their views taken into consideration.

//Cue in: “Definitely, the independents … 

Cue out: … their voices heard.”//   

The participants who included representatives from 28 political parties and organizations focused mainly on the financing and the period within, which independents should register as candidates in the subsequent elections.   

The participants led by Gerald Siranda, the DP Secretary General also want all independent candidates to declare their assets and sources of campaign financing before the start of the campaigns. 

Rukutana indicated that such reforms don’t require amending the constitution, saying they will be executed by Parliament as long as a draft bill is presented before cabinet and parliament later.

//Cue in: “And they are … 

Cue out: … require constitution amendment.”//    

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