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Speaker Wants Nomination of MPs Extended

The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga demanded that nominations should be extended for 14 days since the requirements for a deed poll are too much.
Rebecca Nalwanga waving to supporters at Kasana Playground in Luweero town after nominations

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The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has demanded that the nomination exercise of MPs be extended for 14 days.

This is after the government said that married women will have to follow the standard procedure of the use of a deed poll if they are to change their names ahead of the nominations.

Members of Parliament will be nominated between October 12 and 13, 2020.

A deed poll is a Legal document for changing names or adopting a name by publishing the intention for change of or adopting a name. 

Last month, Angeline Ossege, the Woman MP Soroti district raised a  matter of National Importance in Parliament saying the Electoral Commission was declining to nominate persons whose names on the National Identification Cards differ from those on their academic transcripts.  

For one to change their names through a deed poll, they have to pay 300,000 shillings which is the cost for publishing a deed poll in the Gazette which takes 7 days.  After the publication of the deed poll, the person applies to the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) to effect the change of names after payment of 50,000 Shillings. This will ordinarily should take more than three days.  

Kadaga says that nominations should be extended since the requirements require a long process.

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Although Government was meant to present an amendment to the Registration of Persons Act to exempt women from following the deed poll process, the Deputy Attorney General Jackson Kafuuzi said all people wishing to change their names must follow the procedure.

Kafuuzi says that the subsequent desire to add a marital name is, in essence, a change of name which falls under section 36 of the Registration of Persons Act 2015. He adds that it is therefore justifiable that a married woman who wishes to add her marital name must comply with section 36.

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He says that for the modification of names, this does not require a deed poll.

“The framers of the law intended that section 36 would maintain the sanctity of the National Identification Register in ensuring that whoever intends to change their names would comply with the procedure which would in effect minimize fraud, frivolous attempts and misrepresentations. The legal process involved in section 36 acts as a deterrent mechanism for the above-mentioned acts.” Kafuuzi said.

Several MPs have however declined this position saying women are being victimized and limited from participating in politics.

The Attorney General William Byaruhanga said that they will meet with the Electoral Commission and discuss the proposal by the Speaker.