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Committee Needs UGX 200m for Regional Consultations on Electoral Reforms

The Parliamentary Committee which was tasked to scrutinize the proposed amendments resolved to kick start the review of the Bills with regional consultations. Committee Chairperson Jacob Marksons Oboth says they need 200 million Shillings to cater for daily allowances of the 29 committee members and technical staff for a period of one week.
Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee chairperson Oboth Oboth

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The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee will need 200 million Shillings to facilitate regional consultations on the recently tabled electoral reforms.  

The reforms were tabled by the government through 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) Bill.     

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.  

The bill 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 government candidates.  

But the Parliamentary Committee which was tasked to scrutinize the proposed amendments resolved to kick start the review of the Bills with regional consultations. Committee Chairperson Jacob Marksons Oboth says they need 200 million Shillings to cater for daily allowances of the 29 committee members and technical staff for a period of one week.  

Each MP is entitled to 400,000 Shillings per night outside parliament within the country while technical staffs get 250,000 Shillings. Oboth said part of the funds will be spent on fuel. 

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The regional consultations are to be held with local political leaders, religious leaders, youth and opinion leaders at the district headquarters.  A draft schedule by the committee indicates that the committee will be split into four groups.  

One group will cover the areas of Buddu (Masaka), Ankole (Mbarara) and Kigezi (Kabale), the second will cover the areas of Tooro (Fort Portal), Bunyoro (Hoima), Luweero and Central specifically in Mukono. The third group will go to Acholi (Gulu), Lango (Lira), West Nile (Arua) and Teso (Soroti) while the fourth group is will collect views from Busoga (Iganga), Bukedi (Tororo), Bugisu/Sebei (Mbale) and Karamoja (Moroto).  

The committee had planned to start the regional consultations today August 12 until Tuesday, August 27, 2019. However, Oboth told URN that the consultations are still pending the Speaker’s authorization of the committee’s leave to carry out the task outside parliament.   

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After the regional consultations, the committee will at the start of September scheduled to meet with the Uganda Law Reform Commission, Uganda Law Society, Uganda National NGO Forum, Electoral Commission, Uganda Local Government Association and Inter-Religious Council of Uganda. 

The other scheduled meetings are with the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Democratic Party (DP), Citizens' Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU), Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), Justice Forum (JEEMA), Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) and others.

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