M7 Okays Electoral Laws

President Museveni yesterday assented to the Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2015, the Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2015 passed by parliament on Wednesday afternoon.

Uganda President ; Yoweri Museveni
Uganda President ; Yoweri Museveni

The Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill came with a strange twist when legislators heeded to Hon. Odonga Otto to give zero shillings to any presidential aspirants quashing government proposal to increase the fee from 20M to 50M.

Memmbers of parliament agreed to remove requirement for a presidential candidate to campaign in every district of Uganda after scrapping government contribution to them. Tororo Municipality MP Tanna Sanjay argued that the demand of “a presidential candidate moving from district to district is a form of accountability for the UGX50M.”

The Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Bill increasing the fee paid by presidential aspirants from Shs.8M to Shs.20M and from UGx 200,000 to UGx 3M for Parliamentary candidate nomination fees.

The bills came as a surprise when parliament was recalled from recess to consider changes in the three bills. However, only two have been passed.

What Government Targeted

The Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2015 was to revise the nomination fees payable; to revise the facilitation provided for a presidential candidate; to remove the requirement for a candidate to campaign in every district; to provide for polling to close at 4.00pm on polling day and to require the Electoral Commission to provide for persons engaged in electoral activities or on duty in specific professions or areas vote.

The Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2015 targeted revising the nomination fees; provide for closure of polls at 4.00pm and to provide for persons engaged in the electoral activities or on duty in specific professions or areas to vote.

Legislators rejected the proposal to change the polling station closing time from 5:00pm to 4:00Pm.