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EC Needs Money To Compile New Voters Register

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According to Sam Rwakoojo, EC Secretary, the need for the new register is to enable the commission verify voters in the villages across the country, where the elections for LC 1, LC 2 and women councils will take place.
EC Secretary, Sam Rwakoojo, State Minister of Finance, David Bahati, Deputy AG, Mwesigwa Rukutana and Local Government Minister Tom Butime at Parliament today.

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The Electoral Commission (EC) will compile a fresh register in preparation for the lower local council elections.

According to Sam Rwakoojo, the EC Secretary, the need for the new register is to enable the commission verify voters in the villages across the country, where the elections for LC 1, LC 2 and women councils will take place.

In 2015, EC compiled the national voters' register, with 15 million Ugandans verified as eligible voters for the 2016 elections.

However, Rwakoojo says the register will clearly list the actual voters in the villages, which requires resources to recruit personnel to move around the villages registering individuals interested in participating in the elections.

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Rwakoojo was appearing before the Public Service and Local Government committee, together with Finance state Minister, David Bahati; Local Government minister, Tom Butime and Deputy Attorney General, Mwesigwa Rukutana, to discuss the organisation of the LC elections.

The elections are scheduled to be held this month in 57, 842 villages across the country.

Rwakojo revealed that there are 500 new villages that were created out of the four new districts of Omoro, Rubanda, Kibale and Kagadi.

However, last week, there was contention over funding of the polls after Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija said government has 10 billion shillings to conduct the elections, while EC insists that it requires 15.9 billion to hold both LC and women council elections.

Bahati explained to the MPs on the committee today that the ministry is ready to provide the funding once Parliament passes the Local Government Amendment Bill, currently being scrutinised.

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Peace Mutuuzo, State Minister for Gender, however tasked the Finance Minister to ensure the three billion shillings needed for the women council elections is availed along with funds for the LC polls.

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The committee is considering amendments to change modalities for the elections, including reducing the number of campaign days from seven to one day and the number of days for display of the voters' register from 21 to two days.

The committee is expected to table its report to Parliament next week on Tuesday.