Dr. Gerald Siranda, the Acting DP Secretary General told URN that by the time they arrived at parliament, MPs had dispersed. "We were supposed to appear at 3pm and when we contacted the Chairperson, he said that the committee's earlier meetings had failed forcing the MPs to disperse. He gave us a new appointment for Tuesday next week," said Siranda.
Political parties failed
to appear before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee on Thursday to
present their views on the Electoral Reform Bills before parliament.
Committee had scheduled to hear the views from the ruling the National Resistance Movement-NRM party, the opposition
Forum for Democratic Change-FDC party and the Democratic Party-DP. However, the
meeting hit a snug after NRM and FDC asked to reschedule the meeting at the
The committee efforts to
reach DP officials to confirm their appearance proved futile. However,
Dr. Gerald Siranda, the Acting DP Secretary
General told URN that by the time they arrived at parliament, MPs had dispersed.
"We were supposed to appear at 3pm and when we contacted the Chairperson,
he said that the committee's earlier meetings had failed forcing the MPs to
disperse. He gave us a new appointment for Tuesday next week," said
He said DP was ready with its views on the proposed
reforms and that it was the committee that became impatient. The FDC
Spokesperson, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda said his party had formally written to
the committee asking for an extension given the fact that party officials are
held up in Hoima ahead of the District Woman MP by-elections.
said the party would appear at the most
convenient time for the committee after their campaigns in Hoima. The NRM
Deputy Secretary General, Richard Todwong, said he wasn’t aware why his party
failed to appear, saying that all was set for them to appear by the time he
left Kampala for official duty.
The electoral reform Bills tabled by government include the
Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill, the Parliamentary Elections (Amendment)
Bill, the Electoral Commission (Amendment) Bill, the Political Parties and
Organization (Amendment) Bill and the Local Governments (Amendment)
The Bills seek to among other things reform electoral laws
relating to the qualification of candidate’s 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.
bills also seeks to incorporate the ten recommendations made by the Supreme
Court in the 2016 presidential election petition and the Constitutional
Amendment Act which scrapped the age limit for presidential and local
The opposition through the Constitutional Amendment Bill
spearheaded by the Shadow Attorney General Wilfred Niwagaba is also mooting
other reforms including reinstating presidential term limits, removal of the
representation of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) representatives
from parliament, and restrict the number of Cabinet Ministers and other
Ministers to 21 respectively, increasing the number of members of the Electoral
Commission (EC) from 7 to 9 and others.