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Gov’t Chief Whip, Justice Minister Suggest Cap on Number of MPs

During the heated debate that preceded the approval, Kampala Central MP Muhammad Nsereko questioned the parameters that the government used to create the new areas. He observed that despite its high population, Kampala central was not a beneficiary of the new creations.
The afternoon plenary session Chiared by Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga.

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The Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa, and Justice Minister Ephriam Kamuntu, have observed a need for a cap on the number of constituencies the country can have. This came after Parliament approved 46 new constituencies bringing the number of Members of Parliament to 497 from the current 457 MPs.

During the heated debate that preceded the approval, Kampala Central MP Muhammad Nsereko questioned the parameters that the government used to create the new areas. He observed that despite its high population, Kampala central was not a beneficiary of the new creations.

But the Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa says that as it stands now when voters demand a constituency, the government listens, but a time has come to "put this generosity to a halt". She adds that space from within parliament has become a problem fording legislators to share offices among two or even more people while others rejected the congestion in the offices saying their health does not respond well to such environments.

Nankabirwa told URN that going forward, the government needs to come with a limit on the number of constituencies and other administrative units that can be set up, to control the cost of public administration.

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Meanwhile, Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Ephriam Kamuntu says that what was is happening now is people demanding to have representation through all criteria, including language, even though the constitution allows administrative units like counties to qualify for representation.

Kamuntu agrees with Nankabirwa that there should come a time when the size of parliament should be capped just like the British Parliament which has remained 630 to date. He says this will, however, counter peoples demands.

Asked whether the construction of the new chamber with a 600-member sitting capacity was a great projection for where we are headed, Kamuntu said that looking at the trend the country has taken, that could be the case. Kamuntu also says that countries like Kenya and Tanzania have greater population size but have smaller parliaments.

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