Voters in Karamoja Want Joint Campaigns

Christine Akot, the Moroto District Vice Chairperson says joint campaigns help the electorate to make informed choices after hearing from all candidates in the same date. She also stresses that joint campaigns reduce fatigue and confusion of the electorate.
Jacob Oboth at the center with suit, posing for a picture with Karamoja team at Moroto district headquarters.

Audio 4

The electorate from Karamoja Sub Region are demanding for provisions in the electoral amendment bills to allow candidates contesting for specific elective offices to conduct joint campaigns. They also want election days for the District Chairpersons and their councillors conducted on the same day with those of the President and MPs. 

During a consultation meeting on the road map on Electoral Related Bills, 2019 in Moroto on Tuesday, several electorates argued that joint campaigns are cheaper, convenient and reduce issues of blackmail and propaganda among candidates. 

Christine Akot, the Moroto LCV Vice-Chairperson says joint campaigns help the electorate to make informed choices after hearing from all candidates. She also stresses that joint campaigns reduce fatigue and confusion of the electorate. 

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Mark Aol Mussoka, the former LCV Chairperson for Moroto wants elections in local governments to conducted on the same day with the president and MPs. He explains that delayed elections of local government leaders always registers low turn up of voters.

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Joseph Lolek, a resident of Kotido district wants parliament to consider sources of funding especially for people involved in some other professions like music. He notes that while the music industry is a career for some upcoming politicians, government while restricting on sources of funding shouldn’t interfere with the activities meant to mobilize funds. 

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The consultations in Moroto were led by the Chairperson of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, Jacob Oboth Marksons. Others were Bugiri Municipality MP, Asuman Basalirwa and Kalaki County MP, Clement Ongalo Obote. 

The MPs were consulting on the five electoral bills currently in Parliament. The bills include The Presidential Elections [Amendment] Bill, 2019, The Parliamentary Elections [Amendment] Bill, 2019 and The Electoral Commission [Amendment] Bill, 2019. The other bills are The Political parties and Organizations [Amendment] Bill, 2019 and The Local Government [Amendment] Bill, 2019. 

The electorate also supported government’s move to bar independent candidates from contesting after losing in party primaries.

In the proposed amendment, a person is eligible to stand as an independent candidate if he/she is not a member of a registered party and should have ceased to be member of a political party 12 months before nomination. 

However, the issue on the source of funding for the candidates and elections in the newly created constituencies attracted mixed reactions. 

Oboth says the Karamoja views will be among the other views from different regions that will guide parliament in the legislation of the bills. 

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Similar consultations were conducted in Kabale, Fort Portal and Soroti by different members of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee.